Turkish PM thanks Georgian PM for contribution to Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway

Posted November 01, 2017

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway will play a pivotal role to carry Chinese goods to Europe and will link Caspian Sea with Black Sea. It involved upgrading infrastructure in Azerbaijan and Georgia, rehabilitating 153 km of unused 1 520 mm gauge line from Marabda to a break-of-gauge facility at Akhalkalaki, and building 110 km of 1 435 mm gauge line to Kars via a 4·4 km tunnel under the Georgia-Turkey border at Kartsakhi.

On the second day of his official visit to Azerbaijan, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev highlighted the existing cooperation between the two countries, which expands into energy, transportation, trade and defense.

TANAP will bring natural gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-2 gas field and other areas of the Caspian Sea primarily to Turkey, but also to Europe via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

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"The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project was put into operation yesterday".

He noted that the BTK railway is also the most important economic project for Turkey.

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

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Addressing opening ceremony at Caspian port city of Alat (New port of Baku), Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said that BTK is the shortest and most reliable link between Europe and Asia and 846 kilometer railways route will provide an alternative route to existing rail services carrying cargo from Asia (China) to Europe via Russian Federation and Iran.

The line, which includes 105 km of new track, will have the capacity to transport one million passengers and 5 million tons of freight. Not so Armenia, which has frosty relations with Turkey and virtually none with Azerbaijan, which cut off ties in the 1990s after Armenian-backed forces took control of a large swathe of its territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev and Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci signed "The Memorandum of Understanding on the signing of the preferential trade agreement between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey".

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