BTK railway to further strengthen Baku-Ankara ties

  • BTK railway to further strengthen Baku-Ankara ties

BTK railway to further strengthen Baku-Ankara ties

BTK railway track is being considered as a new Eurasian bridge and shortest route to China to reach Europe while bypassing Russian Federation and Iran. "This railroad will help increase the living standards of the population in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, attract more investments to these countries, and create new jobs", he stressed.

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway will play a pivotal role to carry Chinese goods to Europe and will link Caspian Sea with Black Sea.

A railway connecting Gyumri, Armenia, and Kars in Turkey is another victim of the long freeze in Turkish-Armenian ties.

The opening of the 846km route marks the completion of a 10-year project to provide an alternative to existing rail services carrying cargo from Asia to Europe that go via Russian Federation and Iran. "The two states signed the Cooperation Protocol on High Level Education, Cooperation in Education, Memorandum of Understanding on the Conclusion of Preferential Trade Agreement, Cooperation in Defense Industry, Cooperation in Production and Certification of Forage Plants and Protocol on 6th High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council Meeting".

Regional experts believe that BTK is emerging New Silk Road network of trade and transport corridors that are coming together between China and Europe.

The project's total cost rose to more than $1 billion from an initial estimate of about $400 million.

"Of course, energy and transportation issues have been traditionally discussed at today's meeting", said the Azerbaijani president, and added that "we are moving confidently towards the set targets".

"The opening of the railway is of historic and strategic significance", the Azeri president Ilham Aliyev said at a ceremony on Monday in the Caspian port city of Alat, south of the capital, Baku, to mark the departure of the first trains.

The inauguration ceremony draw a host of dignitaries, including the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Uzbekistan.

Initially the railway is expected to carry almost 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight annually before unlocking a freight transportation potential of up to 50 million tons per year.