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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor during a ceremony at the Kabul International Airport — a direct route that bypasses Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce.

Ghani says the aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. His adviser Sediqullah Mujadedi says Afghan agricultural products will for the first time head to India on cargo planes.

Mujadedi says the first India-bound flight on Monday included 60 tons of natural plants; a second flight will follow, with 40 tons of dry fruits to be sent form Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province.

Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country and all imports and exports depend on neighboring countries. Relations between Kabul and Islamabad have become strained over accusations of harboring militants.

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