Azerbaijan and Iran to develop 'North-South' together

Azerbaijan and Iran to develop 'North-South' together

The Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev, informed about the plans to establish joint working groups with Iran, which will be engaged in the development of the international transport corridor 'North-South'. He also added that the next meeting of the Azerbaijani-Iranian intergovernmental commission will be held in Tehran in December of this year.

According to him, the past and future consultations are aimed at improving 'North-South'. "It will bring both political and economic dividends for the two countries. We believe that necessary steps will be taken to improve the efficiency of this transport corridor," Trend quoted him as saying.

Iranian Minister of Communication Mahmoud Vaezi, in his turn, stressed that the transport corridor 'North-South' has clear advantages over other routes and confirmed the high level of relations between the two countries.

As the head of 'Azerbaijan Railways' Javid Gurbanov explained, the implementation of 'North-South' will be a very profitable venture for both countries. "According to statistics, the volume of cargo transportation between Europe and India amounts to 25 million tons per year, between Russia and Iran – 6 million tons, the Gulf states and Europe – 30-40 million tons. Despite the fact that the shortest way to St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Berlin and many cities of the Russian Federation passes through Azerbaijan and Iran, almost all cargoes are passing by us. This deprives both Iranian and Azerbaijani railways of profits. That is why we are interested in the creation of this railway," Gurbanov said.

According to him, currently, the project awaits the signing of required bilateral documents. "This railway is a great source of income for Azerbaijan and Iran, as well as providing a large number of new jobs," Gurbanov said.

The 'North-South' railroad is intended to unite the railway systems of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran, making a direct transport connection between South East Asia and North Europe possible. Its capacity will reach up to 1.4 million passengers and 7 million tons of cargo per year.