By Sara Israfilbayova
Railway Departments of Azerbaijan and Iran signed a pact within the framework of the project "Construction and operation of the Astara loading and unloading terminal".
The document was signed by Chairman of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC Javid Gurbanov and General Director of the Iranian Railways JSC Said Mohammadzadeh in Tehran, Iran.
The agreement stipulates construction of a 1.4 km long railway line and 4 terminals with high transshipment capacity on the Iranian territory with the support of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC. Azerbaijan Railways rents the mentioned railway line for a period of 15 years and terminals - for 25 years, in accordance with the document.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gurbanov and Mohammadzadeh noted that this project will serve to strengthen ties in the railway sector, transit and economic potential of the two countries and will also give impetus to attracting freight traffic in this direction.
The meeting discussed the current state of the project of the international transport corridor "North-South". They noted the acceleration of work after the laying of a 82.5-meter railway bridge across the Astarachay river on the Azerbaijani-Iranian border on April 20, 2016. In a short time there was completed the construction of a single-track railway from Astara station (Azerbaijan) to the Iranian border and the bridge, through which a test train was launched across the border.
The sides noted that at the moment the work continues in Iranian Astara. This includes the construction of a railway station and an unloading terminal on the territory of 35 hectares.
Azerbaijan and Iran have had diplomatic relations since 1918. Iran recognized Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1992.
The two countries enjoy developed political, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations, have signed some 50 documents on cooperation.
The trade turnover between the countries hit some $15.77 million in January 2017, while the index of last January stands at $9.56 million. Azerbaijan’s trade turnover with Iran amounted to $210.76 million in 2016, which is 70 percent more than in 2015.
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