News ID: 188776
Published: 0702 GMT March 05, 2017

Azerbaijan officially launches Iran rail link

Azerbaijan officially launches Iran rail link

Azerbaijan officially launched a rail link with Iran on Sunday by sending a train across the border to Iran's northern city of Astara thus taking an ambitious multimodal transport project that connects northern Europe to India closer to reality.

The train's arrival in Iran coincided with a visit to the Islamic Republic by Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev during which he discussed the implementation of the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) with his Iranian counterpart President Hassan Rouhani, Press TV reported.

Aliyev indicated Baku's determination to materialize the project when he said his country would invest in the construction of a railway from Iran's northern city of Rasht to Astara.

The NSTC is a multimodal route to link India and the Middle East to the Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe.

The ship, road and rail route connects India's Mumbai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas and further to Baku in Azerbaijan as well as Astrakhan, Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia before stretching to northern Europe and Scandinavia.

In addition to Iran, India and Russia, other countries that are on board to integrate into the transit network include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Turkey, Tajikistan, Oman, Syria and Bulgaria.

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