By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are taking joint measures to ensure the full operation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project, Azerbaijan’s Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ministry has reported.
The issue was discussed during the visit of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Deputy Minister Rahman Hummatov to Georgia and Turkey.
The visit aimed to get acquainted with the progress of construction and installation works in Georgia and Turkey within the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project.
The meeting with Georgian Economy and Sustainable Development Deputy Minister Guram Guramishvili and the leadership of the state railways of Turkey focused on the organization and increase in the volume of cargo transit via BTK.
The parties also discussed the construction of terminals in Georgia's Akhalkalaki and Turkey's Kars, ways of solving existing problems and a number of other issues of mutual interest.
The officials emphasized the special importance of the project in the countries’ economies, and in the development of transport corridors.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is of exceptional importance for turning Azerbaijan into a regional transport corridor. The agreement on the construction of the railway, which was put into operation in 2017, was signed during the meeting in Tbilisi by the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish leaders in 2007.
The 828-km Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway stretches from the Azerbaijani coast of the Caspian Sea to the Georgian capital, and from there to Turkey, connecting the country’s extensive railway system and thus gaining access to European borders.
As of today, the railway’s cargo turnover is 6 million tons while passenger turnover is 1 million people. In the future, it may rise to 3 million passengers and 20 million tons of cargo.
Since its commissioning until mid-2021, the volume of cargo transported via this railway line has exceeded 1 million tons.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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