Leaders inaugurate Kars - Tbilisi - Baku railway

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

An official welcoming ceremony has been held for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Baku today.

The 849 km BTK programme is central to plans to create a rail corridor from the Caspian Sea to Europe via Turkey.

A guard of honor was set up for the Turkish president.

The Azerbaijani president expressed confidence that the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project will be completed soon and there is no problem with its implementation, Trend reports.

Long-awaited transport corridor for goods carried between Asia and Europe was inaugurated on Monday near Baku as first goods train rolled on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway track.


The rail link between Azerbaijan and Georgia was modernized under the project, which was launched in 2007.

As one of the land routes for China's Belt and Road initiative passes through Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the BTK Railway has gained significance as it is expected to provide the direct transfer of goods from Beijing to London in around 12 to 15 days.

A railway worker in Agstafa, Azerbaijan. Based on current cargo flows the company said it expects to re-route at least two million tonnes of existing cargo flows (principally dry cargo now transported by truck) between Turkey, the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia. The capacity will then reach 3 million passengers and 17 million tons of cargo in next three years. "This is our great success, great victory", said the Azerbaijani president.

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.

Strengthening Turkey increases Azerbaijan's strength, noted the president. "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".

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