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Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will strengthen links between EU, Eastern Partners, says EU

Thursday, November 2
The European Union (EU) has welcomed the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and said it is a major step in transport connections linking the EU, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Central Asia.

"The European Union welcomes the new rail corridor which, coupled with investments, improved infrastructure and logistics coordination will provide for better connectivity, new business opportunities and increased trade. This is at the heart of its Eastern Partnership as well as of its Central Asia strategy, the EU said in a statement.

It added that the EU has always supported projects aiming at improving connectivity with its neighbouring partner countries.

It said that with further improvements of transport links between Turkey and Bulgaria as well as between Azerbaijan and Central Asia, this project will provide fast and reliable land connection between Europe and Asia along the ancient Silk Route.

"We are also supporting the Southern Gas Corridor which will provide similar energy interconnection, the statement added.

Azerbaijani and Turkish presidents, prime ministers of Georgia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, and ministers of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, participated in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway opening on Monday.

Initially the railway is expected to carry nearly 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.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a key link in the modern Silk Road Railway that aims to carry goods between Beijing and London. (