0455 GMT January 28, 2020
According to the Iranian Embassy in Azerbaijan, the meeting was headed by Iran's Deputy Minister of Roads and Urban Development Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan and Azerbaijan's Deputy Economy Minister Sahil Babayev, reported Trend News Agency.
In the meeting, Fakhrieh-Kashan said that Iranian and Azerbaijani constructors will cooperate in implementing the railway project. Iran and Azerbaijan will jointly invest in the project and the Azerbaijani government has decided to invest $500 million, he added.
According to the official, the two sides have drawn up the draft of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for joint investment in the project which is expected to be inked during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's upcoming visit to Baku on August 8.
Fakhrieh-Kashan predicted that the construction of the project will begin in the next couple of months once the legal procedures are finalized.
The 165-kilometer Rasht-Astara railway line will be in Iranian territory. Once the railway is completed, it will play a key role in developing the International North-South Transport Corridor.
Iran's southern port of Bandar Abbas on Persian Gulf will be connected to its northern neighbor, Azerbaijan, through the railway.
Iran's Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pakaein earlier said that on completion of the project, the railway will be capable of transporting 10 million tons of goods and three million passengers per year.