Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20
The Foreign Ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey visited the Georgian section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway main line, as part of the trilateral meeting in Tbilisi on Feb.19, Georgian Foreign Ministry's press service reported.
According to the Foreign Ministers of the three countries, it is a project of historic importance which will connect Asia with Europe.
According to the Georgian Foreign Minister, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will considerably increase the competitiveness of the transport corridor, will attract greater volumes of cargoes and will contribute to the realization of the Silk Road project.
"The three countries continue to contribute huge amount of resources towards this project. Over 700 million has already been spent on the Georgian section alone. This project will create additional job places. Once completed, over 1400 people will be employed here. This is going to be a watershed project. We will soon have the first shipment of cargo freighted via this road"- Mikheil Janelidze said.
Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. Azerbaijan allocated a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway's Georgian section.
The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president's decree 'On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities', dated February 21, 2007.
The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.