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Ashgabat pushes for hastened talks on Eurasian transit corridor

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Turkmen side calls to intensify the discussion of various aspects of the construction of the transport corridor Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey within the framework of international organizations, Vatan newspaper reported.

These include such organizations as the International Road Transport Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The message says the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed to discuss the possibility of creating a modal highway for Central Asia with access to Turkey.

“We are ready to play the most active role and provide the most effective support for the implementation of this project”, said the leader of Turkmenistan, inviting all UN member countries, having acceded to ECE and ESCAP, to join the substantive discussion of this issue.

According to the transit project Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey entitled “Lapis Lazuli”, railways and highways will connect the city of Turgundi in the Afghan province of Herat with Ashgabat, and further with the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi. The corridor will extend to Baku, and further through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches to Poti and Batumi, and further – from Ankara to Istanbul.

The project budget, which is aimed at facilitating transit logistics and customs procedures, is estimated at $2 billion. The large-scale project is aimed at intensifying the economic integration of the region and increasing the volume of trade.

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