MEETING OF TRANSPORTATION MINISTRIES POSTPONED, BUT ON AGENDA
The meeting of ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, in the framework of the project on construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Baku railway, has been put off from the originally scheduled date in July till the first half of August.
A source at the Ministry of Transportation told Trend that the postponement of the event is linked to the tense schedule of the ministers.
Meanwhile, relevant task forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia are working at the coordination of the final purport of agreements to be signed during the upcoming meeting.
вЂњIn May, the presidents [Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, Ahmet Necdet Sezer of Turkey and Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia] signed a principal agreement on the project, thereby giving a crucial impetus to the realization of the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Baku railway. The upcoming meeting is expected to result in the signing of relevant documents by transportation ministers, in order to solve the remaining issues,вЂќ the sources added.
The agenda of the meeting includes issues related to project survey, feasibility study and marketing research work, as well as financial aspects, including the drawing of foreign lending from the concerned sides, and the establishment of a joint venture вЂ" in form of a stock company or consortium вЂ" to be in charge of construction and operation of the line, etc.
According to preliminary estimates, the project is expected to work out to 400 million U.S. dollars, to be spent on the construction of a 98-km sector of the railway, with a 68-km to run on the Turkish side of the route.