By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan and its southern neighbour Iran have discussed the construction of a new highway bridge and a crosswalk over Astarachai on the border.
During an online meeting between Azerbaijani Minister of Transport, Communication and High Technology Ramin Guluzade and Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami the sides have reached an agreement to accelerate the work on the project of Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding in order to create a legal framework for the construction of the bridge.
Due to the expiration of the existing road bridge over Astarachai, it became necessary to construct a new road bridge and a crosswalk over Astarachai.
It should be noted that in recent years the volume of bilateral and transit cargo transportation by road between Azerbaijan and Iran has increased.
Thus, Iran was second country, among Organization of Islamic cooperation member countries, with which Azerbaijan conducted most foreign trade operations. The trade turnover with Azerbaijan’s southern neighbor Iran amounted to $179.2 million during the period of January-July 2020.
Furthermore, during the meeting the transport links between the two countries, the North-South transport corridor, projects in Iran and the development of cargo transportation in the future were discussed.
Likewise, the sides exchanged views on the current state and prospects of cooperation between the two countries in the field of transportation.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of foreign ministries of two countries.
The North-South Transport Corridor project originates in India and passes through Iran, covers the territory of Azerbaijan and extends to Russia and the Gulf of Finland. Within the corridor, Azerbaijan will unite a large part of the world’s economic potential.
The foundation of the North-South Transport Corridor was laid on September 12, 2000, according to an intergovernmental agreement signed between Russia, Iran and India. Azerbaijan joined this agreement in 2005.
The main goal of this railway was to reduce the time and cheapen the delivery of goods from India and the Gulf countries to Northern and Western Europe (and vice versa). Implementation of the above- mentioned project will make it possible to reduce the period of cargo delivery to consumers by 2-3 times.
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