Iranian, Azeri Officials to Discuss Railroad Project

A joint task force between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan will convene in Baku to discuss financial partnership to construct a railroad in north of Iran that will be connected to Azerbaijan’s rail network later.

According to Iran’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pakayeen, the task force is going to hold a session in Baku on Tuesday.

Deputy ministers from the two countries will attend the session, he added.

Once finished, the railroad project would have the capacity for the transportation of 10 million tons of cargo and 3 million passengers per annum, the ambassador said.

Baku has agreed to give Iran a loan of $500 million via the International Bank of Azerbaijan for the construction of a railroad linking the Iranian northern cities of Rasht and Astara.

Azeri sources have estimated the budget for completion of the project at $1.1 billion, part of which would be supplied by the Azeri loan.

The Rasht-Astara section will connect the rail networks of Iran and Azerbaijan through the border city of Astara.

In other news, head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s representative office in the northwestern city of Oroumiyeh, Ahmad Montazami, told Tasnim on Sunday that Iran and Azerbaijan are going to start visa-free travels within the next two months.

Tehran and Baku have accelerated efforts in recent years to forge closer partnership in various fields, from fighting against terrorism to the exchange of electricity and gas deals.

Earlier this year, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev paid an official visit to Iran, during which the two Muslim neighbors signed eleven Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements to promote mutual cooperation in different fields.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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