Turkey, Azerbaijan cherish long-standing bilateral ties strengthened with cooperation

Turkish PM thanks Georgian PM for contribution to Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has thanked the Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his contribution to the successful implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project facilitating the transport of passengers and goods between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

The new link will reduce journey times between China and Europe to around 15 days, which is more than twice as fast as the sea route at less than half the price of flying.

A guard of honor was set up for the Turkish president.

TANAP will bring natural gas produced from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz-2 gas field and other areas of the Caspian Sea primarily to Turkey, but also to Europe via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

Erdoğan also spoke about the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) Railway, which became operational on Monday with a grand ceremony in Baku: "Opening the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway enables us to stand at a stronger position in linking Asia to Europe via railways".

The rail link between Azerbaijan and Georgia was modernized under the project, which was launched in 2007.

This once again shows that all the projects involving Turkey and Azerbaijan and those initiated by the two countries are being implemented, noted President Aliyev.

Around 79 kilometers of the BTK Railway pass through Turkey, while 246 kilometers pass through Georgia and 504 kilometers through Azerbaijan.

Some 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo will be transported on the line. Not so Armenia, which has frosty relations with Turkey and virtually none with Azerbaijan, which cut off ties in the 1990s after Armenian-backed forces took control of a large swathe of its territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev oversaw the October 30 inauguration ceremony for the new Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railroad in the town of Alyat, 70 kilometers southwest of Baku. "This is our great success, great victory", said the Azerbaijani president.

Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev and Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci signed "The Memorandum of Understanding on the signing of the preferential trade agreement between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey".

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