Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Oct. 18 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has ordered the construction of the Turkmen section of the North-South railway and to commission it, an official Turkmen source said on Thursday.
"This issue must be constantly controlled," he added.
An intergovernmental agreement on the North-South project was signed between Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran in 2007.
An intergovernmental agreement on the international rail border crossing point at the Kazakh-Turkmen border was signed in May 2012.
The North-South project will open the way for European and Asian countries to Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. A similar opportunity will appear for the transit of goods from the countries of South and South-East Asia, the Indian Ocean to the Northern and Eastern Europe through Iran, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
According to preliminary forecasts, three to five million tons of cargo a year will be initially transported. The volume will increase to 10-12 million tons in the future.
In early September, President Berdimuhamedov agreed to a proposal to expediate the termination of the relevant contract with the Pars Energy Company (Iran) and ordered the implementation of the project independently.
Earlier it was reported that a contract was signed with this Iranian company for the construction of the section of the Bereket Etrek railway in January 2010 which was to be completed in December last year.
However, the operations were not completed by the deadline despite the Turkmen side fulfilling its partnership commitments by assisting Pars Energy, a statement said.
Therefore, proceeding from the consultations and negotiations with official Tehran, a proposal was made to terminate the contract with this company on a voluntary bilateral basis and make all the appropriate procedures in accordance with the generally accepted norms of international law.