Iran, Azerbaijan to discuss key trade corridor

Iran and Azerbaijan plan to open fresh talks over the development of a key North-South transport corridor.

Delegations from the two countries will meet in Azerbaijan’s Astara on December 20 and 21. Top on the agenda of their meetings will be the construction of a strategic rail link which is expected to connect Northern Europe to Southeast Asia through Azerbaijan and Iran.

“In accordance with the instructions of the head of state to accelerate the construction work in the Azerbaijani section of the North-South international transport corridor, we will work together with Iran on the construction of the bridge in Astara,” said Javid  Gurbanov, the head of Azerbaijan’s Railways CJSC.

“In addition, we will continue our full gauge railway on the territory of Iran, which will simplify the transport of cargo coming from Iran through the territory of Azerbaijan,” he has been quoted as saying by Azeri media.

The North-South transport corridor will connect Northern Europe to Southeast Asia. It will serve as a bridge to connect the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.

This project envisages creating a border railway bridge between Iranian and Azerbaijani Astara, as well as laying 8-kilometer-long branch on Azerbaijan’s territory.

According to preliminary estimates, the overall capacity of the rail link will be 1.4 million passengers and 5-7 million metric tons of cargo a year. Around 22 tunnels and 15 bridges will be built throughout the railway. Around 15 tunnels have already been constructed.
The volume of cargo transportation through the corridor will amount to 6 million metric tons in the initial stage and will reach 15-20 million metric tons in the future.

By Press TV

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