TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is slated to pay an official visit to Turkmenistan in autumn to inaugurate a railway that will link Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Tehran’s Ambassador to Ashgabat Seyed Mohammad Moussa Hashemi Golpayegani announced on Monday.
“Attending the opening ceremony of the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway which is slated to kick off work in a ceremony and will also be attended by Turkmen and Kazakh presidents as well as holding bilateral talks with his Turkmen and Kazakh counterparts will be on the agenda of President Rouhani,” the Iranian ambassador said.
The envoy said that President Rouhani’s visit will take place in late October-early November.
“The Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway is a very important international project and therefore the presidents of the three countries will take part in its inaugural ceremony,” Hashemi Golpayegani said.
Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway is a part of the North-South international transport corridor.
Turkmenistan announced in January that it will complete its own section of the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway by October 2014.
The Turkmen president has ordered his deputy for transport and communication affairs that the Turkmen section of the railway should be completed by October 2014.
Over 180 kilometers of the railway in Turkmenistan was constructed in 2013. Just 90 kilometers of the Turkmen section of the railway has remained to be built.
Intergovernmental agreement on the project “North-South” was signed in 2007 between Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan. The planned volume of traffic on the route will not be more than 10 million tons a year.
The project will open access to the Persian Gulf and Central Asia for countries in Asia and Europe. Similar opportunities will also appear for the transit of goods from countries in South-East and South Asia, the Indian Ocean coast to the states of Eastern and Northern Europe via Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia.
This path is several times shorter than passing through the Suez Canal. The railway will play a huge role in the desert areas of social infrastructure in the Caspian region and the Northern Territory – from the border with Kazakhstan to Bereket.
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