Azerbaijan, Gabala, Aug. 16 / Trend A.Badalova /
Joint transport and energy projects will transform the region of the Turkic countries into the centre of the world's economy, the President of Turkey Abdullah Gul said on Friday, speaking at the third Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States in Gabala (Azerbaijan).
"The Turkic-speaking countries need to restore the historic Silk Road which has both political and economic significance for the world. The modern concept of the Silk Road comprises collaborative energy, transport and logistics projects that will aid the development of the entire region. All of these projects will transform the Turkic world into the centre of the world economy and development," Turkish President said.
According to him, the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a strategically important project.
"The project will change the dynamics of the region. Currently work is successfully on-going. This project will bring together Turkic states through the railway and contribute to the development of the economy and trade between these countries. We are doing our best to complete the construction of the railway as soon as possible. The organisation of a ferry service between the ports of Baku and Aktau and Turkmenbashi is considered as a continuation of this project. It is very important to realise this project in the near future," Gul said.
He added that with the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in 2014 and the start of operation of the Marmaray rail tunnel in Istanbul, a direct rail link between West Asia and Europe will be established.
"These projects will give a strong boost to the economy and welfare of the inhabitants of these states. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are also showing interest in the project and this would mean all the Turkic speaking states will be connected by a single railway project," he said.
In addition the states are considering issues of cooperation in the field of the road infrastructure, Gul said.
"It is necessary to facilitate the procedures for using the main road among the states as well as standardise and modernise the checkpoints between the countries. If the checkpoints are not be upgraded there will be problems with regards to the transportation of passengers and goods in the framework of railway projects.
"Moreover, it is necessary to expand capacity at the ports on the Caspian Sea. In this area, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are developing appropriate projects. The organization of ro-ro voyages is also being prioritised," the Turkish president said.