Published: Wed, November 01, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

BTK railway to further strengthen Baku-Ankara ties

BTK railway to further strengthen Baku-Ankara ties

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

After the ceremony a symbolic driving of railroad spikes and the pulling of railroad switches took place, officially sending off the first cargo train along the BTK railway.

"The BTK is the shortest and most reliable route connecting Europe with Asia", said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

The oft-delayed railway "is a key component of a plan to create a new rail corridor linking Europe and Turkey with the Caspian Sea", International Railway Journal writes. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan as the two former Soviet neighbours fought a war over the disputed territory.

Kvirikashvili stressed the role of Yildirim in the modernisation of the transport sector of Turkey in recent years.

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.

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Azerbaijan is scheduled to organize an expo for which Turkey will provide all and any kind support with its means available, Erdoğan said, citing Turkey's experience in expos as the country organized one past year in Antalya.

The BTK project is part of Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev larger strategy to diversify the country's oil-rich economy and turn it into a trade and logistics hub in Eurasia.

Aliyev confirmed that military cooperation is a matter included on the agenda between Turkey and Azerbaijan. This is a factor that strengthens our cooperation in the military sphere. "This is our great success, great victory", said the Azerbaijani president.

Azerbaijan is very interested in Turkey's military industry complex, which is growing day by day, President Aliyev said, adding: "We purchase and will continue to purchase military products from Turkey".

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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