Baku-Ankara ties to continue expand

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan and Turkey have exchanged views on the regional and international issues during Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to Baku.

Following the talks between Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Turkish counterpart, the ministers held a press conference touching upon the issues of great importance.

Cavusoglu highlighted the Baku-Ankara relations, noting that Azerbaijan and Turkey have very good relations at all levels and it will continue this way.

He also spoke about the regional projects implemented with participation of Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Touching upon the delay in the implementation of the Baku -Tbilisi- Kars railway project, Cavusoglu said it is legal in nature and connected to the problems faced by the company engaged in the project construction.

Noting that Tbilisi will host a meeting of foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in December, he said the foreign ministers will visit the construction site and review the situation.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed on the basis of a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.

Azerbaijan allocated a loan of $775 million for the construction of the railway’s Georgian section. Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund (SOFAZ) finances the project in accordance with the Azerbaijani president’s decree ‘On the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project activities’, dated February 21, 2007.

The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo.

The Turkish minister also expressed his condolences regarding the events that took place in Baku on November 26, which resulted with killing of two policemen.

He noted that Turkey condemns all forms of terrorism.

Cavusoglu said the two countries have similar positions on combating terrorism, adding that both countries have already faced terrorism threats and can fight it together.

The Azerbaijani-Turkish relations have always been strong due to a common culture and history and the mutual intelligibility of Turkish and Azerbaijani languages.

Turkey was the first country in the world to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence in 1991 and has been a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan in its efforts to preserve its territorial integrity and realize the economic potential that arises from its rich natural resources in the Caspian Sea.

Considering the current trend in the increase of important projects initiated by the two countries, Azerbaijani-Turkish collaboration is expected to develop in the future.


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