Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.30
By Temkin Jafarov, Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Commissioning of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran) Astara (Azerbaijan) railway, which is part of the "North-South" international transport corridor, will lead to the intensification of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, said the head of the Customs Service of Iran Masoud Karbasian Sept.30 at a meeting in Baku with the Chairman of the State Customs Committee (SCC) of Azerbaijan Aydin Aliyev.
"Cooperation between customs of Azerbaijan and Iran is at a good level, and the two heads of state have a will for the expansion of bilateral relations in this sphere. The meetings of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran took place four times during the last eight months, however, the relationship between countries can be raised to an even higher level," he said.
He said that it is necessary to ensure the transition of customs checkpoints in Bilasuvar and Astara on the round-the-clock mode, the introduction of a unified information system between the customs authorities (in order that all documents or declarations adopted by the Azerbaijan Customs would be recognized by the Iranian side, and vice versa, which would greatly simplify the trucking transportations between the two countries).
"In order to solve these issues before the visit of the president of Iran in Azerbaijan, we should make efforts to carry out the necessary work as soon as possible. Customs authorities of the two countries should make every effort for the development of relations between states," said Karbasian.
In turn, the head of the State Customs Committee Aydin Aliyev said that Azerbaijan and Iran have had friendly and fraternal relations for many centuries.
He said that today the relations between the two countries reached a new level, and the present meeting, which is the 4th one during the last 8 months, proves it.
"The customs statistics do not reflect the current situation, as every day thousands of people cross the Azerbaijani-Iranian border," said Aliyev.
The two countries are also linked by transit transportation, so they attach great importance to accelerate the formalization of each procedure, load and the vehicle, said the head of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.
Commissioning of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway is expected in early 2015. The total length of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway is 205 kilometers and the area of Anzali-Astara is164 kilometers. Some 22 tunnels and 15 bridges will be built throughout the railway. The construction of 15 tunnels has already been completed.
Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway is an integral part of the "North-South" international transport corridor, and its goal is to integrate the transport highways of Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran. Some $400 million will be invested in the construction of the corridor.