TEHRAN (FNA)- Uzbekistan Railway Company chief Achilbay Ramatov said Tashkent is eager to see growth in railway cooperation with Tehran in a bid to link the Central Asian country to the Persian Gulf waters.
“Uzbekistan’s railway workers have until today built 106 kilometers of the railway in Afghanistan and they are planning to continue the railway up to Iran with the outlook to gain access to the Persian Gulf waters,” Ramatov said.
The Uzbek official pointed to the importance of a railway link between Iran and Uzbekistan, and said, “There is a good cooperation between Iran and Uzbekistan and by holding expert meetings this cooperation will further expand.”
Ramatov underlined that Iran and Uzbekistan will sign a memorandum of understanding tomorrow at the end of a meeting between the two countries’ railway experts.
In October 2008, Iran and Uzbekistan signed a nine-article cooperation pact on railway cooperation after holding a two-day meeting in Tehran. The agreement was finalized between the managing directors of the national railway companies of Iran and Uzbekistan.
In October 2010, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the railway which is due to link Iran to Turkmenistan and then to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan will change the paradigm of transportation in the region.
“This (railway) network changes the region’s transportation map and pattern,” Ahmadinejad said, addressing the inauguration ceremony of industrial and development projects in Bandar Abbas in the Southern Hormozgan province.
The railway will link Iran to Turkmenistan and then to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and will connect the CIS countries with the Indian Ocean and high seas and the Persian Gulf littoral states.
The primary agreement on the construction of the rail link among Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan was signed between presidents of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in April 2007 in the city of Turkmenbashi and its final agreement was signed in a summit meeting in Tehran in September of the same year by the three presidents.
The total route of the railway is 1000 kilometers, of which 90 kilometers would be in Iran, 700 kilometers in Turkmenistan and 210 kilometers in Kazakhstan.
The railway facilitates transportation of goods from the Central Asian countries to the Persian Gulf.
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