Qatar Keen to Participate in Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan Railway
Qatar is highly eager to partner with Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in the implementation of a major railway project which will connect the Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and is considered as the Silk Road of the 21st Century, reported Fars News Agency.
Qatar's willingness to participate in the North-South railway line was expressed during a meeting between Qatari Minister of State for International Cooperation Khalid Bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in Ashgabat.
At the meeting, Attiyah said that his country is closely pursuing Turkmenistan's economic activities and growth and is eager to invest in all economic sectors in the Central Asian country, including transportation, energy and telecommunication.
The primary agreement on the construction of the rail link among Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan was signed between presidents of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in April 2007 in the city of Turkmenbashi and its final agreement was signed in a summit meeting in Tehran in September of the same year by the three presidents.
The total route of the railway is 1000 kilometers, of which 90 kilometers would be in Iran, 700 kilometers in Turkmenistan and 210 kilometers in Kazakhstan.
The project will be completed in 2011.
The railway facilitates transportation of goods from the Central Asian countries to the Persian Gulf.
At present the two countries have built 300km of the railway from Barkat station in Turkmenistan's Balkan province towards Kazakhstan borders and the remaining 360-km railway will be constructed by the end of the current year.
Launching the international railway will shorten more than 600 km of the route for transporting goods from the Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and the route will be turned into one of the most important international transportation link between China and Europe.