Leaders inaugurate Kars - Tbilisi - Baku railway

Posted November 01, 2017

The 846-km-long railway connects Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey and will play a pivotal role in the Middle Corridor as part of the greater One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.

The oft-delayed railway "is a key component of a plan to create a new rail corridor linking Europe and Turkey with the Caspian Sea", International Railway Journal writes. He said that TANAP sets an example of how energy cooperation links continents to one another.

The Azerbaijani president expressed confidence that the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project will be completed soon and there is no problem with its implementation, Trend reports.

The rail link between Azerbaijan and Georgia was modernized under the project, which was launched in 2007.

"The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project was put into operation yesterday".

Around 79 kilometers of the BTK Railway pass through Turkey, while 246 kilometers pass through Georgia and 504 kilometers through Azerbaijan. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan as the two former Soviet neighbours fought a war over the disputed territory.

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Some 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo will be transported on the line. Based on current cargo flows the company said it expects to re-route at least two million tonnes of existing cargo flows (principally dry cargo now transported by truck) between Turkey, the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia. Not so Armenia, which has frosty relations with Turkey and virtually none with Azerbaijan, which cut off ties in the 1990s after Armenian-backed forces took control of a large swathe of its territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan is scheduled to organize an expo for which Turkey will provide all and any kind support with its means available, Erdoğan said, citing Turkey's experience in expos as the country organized one previous year in Antalya. "We also continue to cooperate in the military-technical field", the Azerbaijani president said.

Strengthening Turkey increases Azerbaijan's strength, noted the president.

Turkey and Azerbaijan inked six agreements in a number of fields.

A memorandum of understanding on signing a preferential trade agreement between the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey was signed by Azerbaijani Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev and his Turkish counterpart Nihat Zeybekci.