Turkmenistan seeks to complete project of railway to Iran in 2014

The construction of a railway within the North-South international project will be completed this fall, Turkmen government said citing the statement of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers. "The construction of North-South highway should be completed in October," Turkmen president said.

The North-South project is implemented on the basis of the agreement signed by Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan in 2007. In May 2013 the project for merging the railroads on the Kazakh-Turkmen border was launched.

Currently, work is underway at the Iranian and Turkmen sites. This regional project will provide access for European and Asian countries to Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

The Turkmen president became familiar with the construction process of the Turkmen-Iranian section, Bereket Etrek in August. The total length of this section will be more that 300 kilometers. Over 180 kilometers were constructed by divisions of the Turkmen Transport Ministry in 2013.

During a state visit to Ashgabat in June, 2013, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that Turkey is ready to join the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan transport corridor. "Joining the North-South transport corridor is important for us too," Gul said.

According to preliminary forecasts, initially, this highway will transport three to five million tons of cargo per year and in the future this volume will increase to 10-12 million tons. The project is being implemented with the assistance of Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank.

Turkmenistan borders on land with Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and on the Caspian Sea with Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran.