Turkmenistan lobbies for transport corridor from Afghanistan to Europe through Azerbaijan

Business Materials 13 November 2018 15:24 (UTC +04:00)

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Nov. 13

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

At a working government meeting held in Ashgabat, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed the importance of creating a transport corridor extending along the route of Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey and going further in the European direction, the state news agency Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary reported.

It is expected that this route will contribute to strengthening cooperation in a wide geo-economic area, including the regions of Central and South Asia, the Caspian and Black Sea basins, Mediterranean region, said the report.

The Turkmen leader, speaking at the international transport forum in Avaza in May, proposed to discuss the possibilities of creation of a multimodal highway for Central Asia offering access to Turkey.

"We ... are ready to play the most active role and provide the most effective support for the implementation of this project," Berdimuhamedov said, inviting all countries of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific ( ESCAP), to join the substantive discussion of this issue.

According to the Lapis Lazuli project, railways and highways will connect the city of Torghundi in the Afghan province of Herat with Turkmenistan's Ashgabat, and further with the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi. The corridor will extend to the new port of Baku in Alat, going further through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches leading to Poti and Batumi in Georgia, and will go ahead from Ankara to Istanbul.

The budget of the project, which is aimed at facilitating transit logistics and simplifying customs procedures, is estimated at $2 billion. This large-scale project is aimed at increasing the economic integration of countries in the region and increasing trade.