New trade corridors to connect Asia, Europe

Financial Tribune- The foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran signed an agreement on projects to create a transportation and transit corridor between the Indian Ocean and Europe in Baku on March 15.

“We have agreed to form a new transportation corridor from the South toward the West,” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the joint press conference held after the Quartet Cooperation Mechanism Roadmap signing ceremony, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported.

According to the minister, the Rasht-Astara Railroad, which is being built by the Iranian government in cooperation with Azerbaijan, will be connected with the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railroad, which was built by Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan and became operational on Oct. 30, 2017.

A transit land corridor will also be built, starting from the Iranian ports of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas, and extending to European countries.

“Our cooperation supports regional peace, stability and prosperity … We should fulfill the transit potential of our geographical positions,” Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said.

“Connecting the Persian Gulf with the Black Sea and the Mediterranean is now a reality. It will take a shorter time to transport cargo from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and to Europe,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

“The transit corridor is an import corridor that will link not only our four countries together but it will also provide access from the Indian Ocean to the Black Sea as well as to the Mediterranean Sea that would basically facilitate connectivity between the two very important parts of the world,” he was quoted as saying by Trend News Agency.

Mammadyarov, Janelidze, Zarif and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also signed documents to develop cooperation and investments in several areas such as energy, banking, telecommunications, industry, agriculture and tourism.

The foreign ministers of the quartet also declared that they support the candidacy of Baku for Expo 2025, while deciding to hold the next meeting in Georgia.