Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, in his speech at the 2nd Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Transport of Turkey-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan, held in Aktau, Kazakhstan, underlined the importance of regional cooperation in the Middle Corridor, and said that increasing this cooperation will help the countries trade between Asia and Europe. He said that it will create new opportunities in the international arena in order to get a bigger share from the volume and investment environment.
Pointing out that Turkey is an important country in terms of supply chain, Karaismailoğlu stated that after the Russia-Ukraine War, the trucks that used these routes before now have to use other options.
Karaismailoğlu stated that Turkey’s land, sea and railway connections gain more importance not only in the trade between Central Asia and Turkey, but also between the European Union and Central Asia and Asia.
Minister Karaismailoğlu stated that the land transportation transit quotas between Turkey-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan should be released and thus the freight flow between Europe and Asia should be facilitated, and said, “In the light of global and regional conditions, we want to redefine our land transportation strategies and keep these strategies up to date. We propose the establishment of a ‘Joint Road Transport Coordination Board’ within the Organization of Turkish States.” he said.
Minister Karaismailoğlu reminded that they signed the “Combined Transport Agreement” between the member states of the Organization of Turkish States on November 11, and said:
“We know that there are some difficulties that we have to overcome regarding the liberalization of transit passages for the Kazakhstan side. The roadmap we will sign today includes an action item to find a solution to this issue. We have also reached an agreement with Azerbaijan on the liberalization of transit transportation within the scope of this roadmap. As soon as possible. We will formalize this agreement.”
Expressing that they aim to become a logistics base in the Middle Corridor as Turkey, Karaismailoğlu said, “Our goal is to build Turkey with railways designed not only for carrying passengers but also for carrying freight in the next 30 years.” made its assessment.
Zangezur Corridor and Nakhchivan-Kars Railway
Karaismailoğlu stated that they attach great importance to the start of passenger transportation on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway and used the following statements:
“Recently, during my visit to Georgia with Mr. Nabiyev, I offered to extend the Eastern Express passenger transport operating between Ankara and Kars to Baku. Recently, a member of the Railways Cooperation Organization located in Czechia will start from Czechia and extend to Kazakhstan. We received an application that it wants to carry out touristic passenger transport on one route (Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) in 2024. We once again underline that we need to make more efforts to remove the obstacles in front of these requests. I want to draw.”
Reiterating Azerbaijan’s desire to open the Zangezur Corridor, Karaismailoğlu said, “We believe that with the opening of the Zangezur Corridor, the completion of the construction of the Nakhchivan-Kars Railway as a continuation of the corridor will contribute significantly to the intensification of transportation relations between the two countries.” said.
“We would like to start the e-permit application with Georgia and Kazakhstan”
Minister Karaismailoğlu stated that they support the establishment of a common digital platform that will show all administrative and technical processes in a transparent and impartial way from the receipt of the cargo to its delivery, and said:
“We recently started the e-permit application with Uzbekistan. We agreed to start it with Azerbaijan as well. Next month, the relevant authorities will meet and work will begin. We would like to start the e-permit application with Georgia and Kazakhstan. We would like to start the e-permit application as soon as possible. I would like to offer you, my esteemed colleagues, to start here. I believe that we will all make the necessary effort to put the points in the road map we have prepared into practice as soon as possible. Although these actions are extremely important, they will never form the limits of our cooperation. We are ready for any additional cooperation. I would like to suggest that a technical committee be formed at the general manager level in order to follow up the issues included in the road map in the process.Currently, the northern corridor, which has millions of TEUs in the railway field, has tens of thousands of transportation activities. There is a load shift demand to the Middle Corridor, where You agree that it is not possible for our existing lines to meet this demand. Even if we run the existing lines at full capacity and make double lines for each kilometer, we cannot meet this demand. As it can be understood from here, when all lines are operating at full efficiency, it is not possible for the countries benefiting from the cargoes coming to the Middle Corridor to decrease in the cargo volume. For this reason, the steps we take will benefit all of us.”
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