Ashgabat, Ankara discuss Lapis Lazuli transit project passing through Caspian Sea

Business Materials 11 November 2018 16:58 (UTC +04:00)

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Nov. 11

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

During a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ashgabat, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov discussed the prospects for creating the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli) international transit transport corridor, Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary reported.

Among the priority areas of cooperation were the trade and economic sphere, energy, transport and communications sector.

The interlocutors expressed confidence that the long-standing interstate partnership will continue to develop dynamically.

The first meeting of experts on the implementation of the “Agreement on Transit and Transport Cooperation” (Lapis Lazuli Route Agreement) took place in Ashgabat in April.

The experts from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Turkey, the participating countries that signed this agreement took part in the event during the 7th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII) on November 15, 2017.

In Ashgabat, the sides reviewed the issues of tariff optimization, customs issues, tax laws of the participating countries.

According to the "Lapis Lazuli" project, the railway lines and highways will connect the city of Torghundi in the Afghan province of Herat with Ashgabat, then with the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi.

The corridor will stretch to Baku, then through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches in Poti and Batumi, then from Ankara to Istanbul.

The project budget, which aims to facilitate transit logistics and simplify customs procedures, is estimated at $2 billion.

The project is designed to increase the economic integration of the region and the volume of trade.