Tehran to complete Iran-Azerbaijan rail section in next 3 months (UPDATE2)

Business Materials 27 December 2016 14:26 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 27

By Farhad Daneshvar, Fatih Karimov – Trend:

Tehran plans to complete the Iran-Azerbaijan railway’s Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan) segment over the next three months, Iran's ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan, said.

Vaezi made the remarks during a meeting of the Azerbaijan-Iran intergovernmental commission in Baku Dec. 27, Trend correspondent reported from the event.

Iran earlier this month announced that the railway track laying on the Astara-Astara bridge, which connects Iran to Azerbaijan, is to begin in coming days. Azerbaijan has finished an 8.5-kilometer section of the project that falls in its territory. The Iranian side is 2.5 kilometers long.

The railway bridge across the Astarachay River is a strategically important facility that will link railways of Azerbaijan and Iran and will be a part of the Astara (Azerbaijan)-Astara (Iran) section of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

Vaezi further said the ties between the two countries are now at their highest level of the past 25 years, adding that this morning’s meeting with President Ilham Aliyev proved that the two countries enjoy proper ties.

The Iranian minister, who co-chairs the Azerbaijan-Iran state commission on economic, trade and humanitarian spheres, said that the joint commission covers various fields for cooperation.

Over 130 members of Iranian state and private sectors are attending the ongoing talks in Baku and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, he added.

Vaezi also expressed his interest in establishing provincial level cooperation between the two countries.

Governor General of East Azerbaijan Province Esmail Jabbarzadeh and Ardabil Province Governor General Majid Khodabakhsh are accompanying Vaezi during the visit.

He also called for further efforts in establishing cooperation in energy and power sector, particularly in oil and gas.

Calling for serious actions in the implementation of earlier reached agreements, Vaezi urged for facilitating banking ties between Tehran and Baku.

Vaezi has arrived in Baku to attend the 11th meeting of the Azerbaijan-Iran intergovernmental commission on economic, trade and humanitarian issues, discussing opportunities for expansion of bilateral ties.

He will visit Nakhchivan on the third day of his Azerbaijan trip.

Trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Iran amounted to $175 million in January-November 2016, $130.13 million of which accounted for the import from Iran, according to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan.