Iran signs agreement with regional counties on transportation, goods transit

10:52, April 26, 2011      

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Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on Monday signed an agreement on transportation and the transit of goods via railway, sea and land.

Under the pact which was inked by the foreign ministers of the five countries at the international transportation and goods transit cooperation in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on Monday, the countries in central Asia, the Persian Gulf region as well as the Arab world can export or transit their products to other countries, the official IRNA news agency said.

Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi said at the meeting that all participating countries attach importance to the five- party agreement, said the report.

The agreement has opened a new chapter on expansion of cooperation among these countries, he was quoted as saying.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al- Thani said at the meeting that suitable grounds for construction of railway, land roads and shipping lines should be created.

For his part, Uzbek Foreign Minister Elyor Ganiev said that the ancient Silk Road was a historical bridge linking the countries of the region and that the new agreement will help revive Silk Road with much more strength.

"The agreement helps promote businesses cooperation and revive Silk Road as well as modernizing airports, railways, land roads and shipping lines," he was quoted as saying.

At the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said that his country is a safe and economical route for the transit of goods.

Iran has facilitated the transit of goods through a "very short, safe and economical route," and some 10 million tons of commodities were transported through the country during the last Iranian year ending on March 20, 2011, the English language satellite Press TV reported.

The Iranian foreign minister appreciated efforts made by the countries represented at the meeting to finalize a rail, sea and land transportation agreement.

"I'm sure this agreement will have favorable and constructive results for regional nations, and will offer the five nations (of Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) useful and ideal opportunities in launching international transit services," Salehi was quoted as saying.

He expressed hope that other countries in the region would join the North-South transit corridor which connects the Persian Gulf and central Asia, according to the report.

Also, Salehi and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov met on Monday and reviewed issues of mutual interests, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Expansion of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in various fields, as well as the latest regional and international developments, were discussed as they met in Ashgabat.

The Iranian foreign minister, who arrived in Ashgabat Sunday, said at a press conference that the Islamic republic is also cooperating with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to build a railroad linking the three countries.

He noted that the railroad would boost the trade transactions among the three sides, expressing hope for closer ties in political, economic and cultural spheres.

Source: Xinhua
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