Kazakhstan wants access to open seas via Iran
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 24
By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Kazakhstan has called for boosting its global trade through having access to open sea via Iran.
Kazakh Economy and Budget Planning Minister Yerbolat Dosayev said his country is willing to expand its economic relations with Iran, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on May 24.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayyebnia on the sidelines of the 4th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Finance and Economy, which is being held in Kazakhstan.
Referring to Bereket-Etrek railway project which would link Iran with the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, he said the project will contribute to the regional economic development.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev on May 21, on the sidelines of the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, China, Press TV reported.
Rouahni expressed Tehran's readiness to expand relations with Astana in all fields and called on the two countries' officials to settle the banking issues.
Tehran and Astana should improve cooperation in the Caspian Sea in important sectors, including trade, shipping, environment protection and expansion of tourism, Rouhani said.
"Iran and Kazakhstan have great potential to boost bilateral economic and trade ties," he added.
The Kazakh president, for his part, said his country attaches great importance to Iran's transit capacity through a railway project linking Iran with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed an agreement in 2007 to construct the North-South Transnational Corridor.
The route will link Uzen in Kazakhstan with Gyzylgaya-Bereket-Etrek in Turkmenistan and end at Gorgan in the Iranian province of Golestan. Then it will be connected to Iran's national rail network, making its way to the Persian Gulf ports.
Nazarbayev also invited his Iranian counterpart to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan and threw his country's weight behind new developments in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1.