US Radio discusses strategic importance of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway

  03 November 2017    Read: 909
US Radio discusses strategic importance of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway
A well-known US broadcaster, John Batcelor Show interviewed Elin Suleymanov, the Azerbaijani ambassador to the United States on the occasion of the official opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, reports citing the US Radio.
During the interview, Suleymanov expressed his congratulations on the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and noted that this railway, covering 850 km, will contribute to the development of the region, along with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, and asked how successful the three countries have cooperated.

"Cooperation among Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey is an example for other countries in the region. This was done voluntarily and without the influence of anybody, and served the interests and well-being of the three countries and peoples. The official opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Qars railway, which is an important link in the revival of the historic Silk Road, included the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as the prime ministers of Georgia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Ministers of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan and other countries, which is an indication of how important it is for them. As the continuation of the idea, as noted by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, many believe that they do not believe in the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and consider it impossible to do so, said the ambassador as a result of friendship and brotherhood between the three countries," Suleymanov noted.

Elin Suleymanov said that Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey have been implementing projects in the field of joint energy, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, and the Southern Gas Corridor, one of Europe's largest infrastructure projects, under construction work. He said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Qars railway was the first such large-scale project in the non-energy sector. As the continuation of the idea, the ambassador pointed out that the United States and the European Union support the railroad and declares on the official opening, saying that the railroad is in line with the essence of the Eastern Partnership as well as the Central Asian strategy.

Referring to the US support to Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, as well as its interest in practical cooperation with the countries of the region, the customs border and cross border crossings in Azerbaijan and Georgia within the framework of the US Export Control and Border Security Program and noted that the United States has addressed the next issue of strategic importance for Azerbaijan.

Ambassador said Azerbaijan has a favorable geographical position, it is located at the intersection of east-west and north-south roads, an important part of the ancient Silk Road, as well as the initiator and author of important energy projects, closely cooperating with the US within the NATO North Supply Network stressing that the country attaches great importance to relations with the United States and that the development of these relations is beneficial for both sides.

Click here to access the full version of the interview.

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