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Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia agree on realization of regional railway project

14 October 2006 [00:51] - TODAY.AZ
Questions on construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku railway were discussed during a meeting between Azerbaijan's Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov, Georgia's Minister of Economic Development Iraqli Jacovadze and a representative of Turkey's Transport Minister Musa Tunjay.

Jacovadze said that next year Georgia will start construction of the Georgian section of the railway using credit from Azerbaijan. According to him, a 29-kilometer section of the railway from the Turkish border to Akhalkalaki will be built, and another section from Akhalkalaki to Azerbaijan's will be repaired (160 km).

According to Musa Tunjay, the Turkish section of the railway is valued at $220 million. These funds will be issued by the Turkish government. All technical work is over, and Turkey is ready to start construction work. Ziya Mammadov said that previously Georgia demanded compensation because after opening of the railway the Batumi port would become less busy.

"However, presently this question is not on the agenda," Mammadov said. According to him, cargo turnover from the railway should be 5 million tons a year.

Out of a total of 105 km railway, 76 km are on Turkey's territory. The initial project value was $422 million.

Of that, $220 million is the value of the Turkish section of the road, and $202 million - the value of the Georgian section of the road. Construction should be complete in two years. Turan



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