Published: Wed, November 01, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey Launch 'Silk Road' Rail Link

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey Launch 'Silk Road' Rail Link

Speaking at the inauguration, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the BTK railway had become a reality because of the friendship of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia. He said that TANAP sets an example of how energy cooperation links continents to one another. He also expressed his wish for the opportunity to travel from Beijing to London on the Silk Road Railway, of which the BTK is a link.

"It's planned to carry 5 million tons of cargo in the first stage and 17 million tons in the next stage".

"The railway is a new Eurasian bridge, connecting not only the economies of our countries but also our citizens", Kvirikashvili said at the opening.

Kvirikashvili stressed the role of Yildirim in the modernisation of the transport sector of Turkey in recent years.

"Turkey is expected to gain an income of $1 billion per year from the BTK", Eren said.

According to the Cabinet decision, Turkey will purchase 43 products from Nakhchivan as if it were a trade operation within the country. 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.

Addressing opening ceremony at Caspian port city of Alat (New port of Baku), Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said that BTK is the shortest and most reliable link between Europe and Asia and 846 kilometer railways route will provide an alternative route to existing rail services carrying cargo from Asia (China) to Europe via Russian Federation and Iran.

Aliyev confirmed that military cooperation is a matter included on the agenda between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

"Two of the exercises were held in Baku, one in Nakhchivan. This is our great success, great victory", said the Azerbaijani president.

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

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.

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