Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.16
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Iran and Turkmenistan have emphasized boosting transit of goods via national road and rail networks to Iran's southern ports, IRIB reported on February 16.
In a meeting between Iranian transport minister Abbas Akhoundi and Turkmen foreign minister Rashid Meredov in Tehran, the two sides called for finishing the project for connecting Turkmenistan's railways to Iran at Incheh Boroun border by the next two months.
The Iranian minister said Sarakhs railways have the capacity to transit 10 million tons of goods annually, but just one million ton of goods is being transited via the railways currently.
In a separate meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Meredov said the construction of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway will be completed and put into operation soon, Tasnimnews news website reported.
"Tehran and Ashgabat are implementing some strategic commercial projects," Meredov said.
The Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway is a part of the North-South international transport corridor. It is assumed that this railroad will create additional routes linking Kazakhstan, the central regions of Russia and Turkmenistan, Iran, Gulf countries, South and Southeast Asia, and will increase transit freight and passenger traffic, reduce transport costs, save time for travel and cause economic growth in the regions through which the railway will run.
A trilateral intergovernmental agreement was signed in 2007 between Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran on the Zhanaozen -Gyzylgaya-Bereket-Etrek -Gorgan railway line with subsequent access to the Russian railway network, which will shorten the route by 600 kilometers. The countries started its construction in 2009. It is planned to complete the implementation of the project in 2014.