Four countries sign Ashgabat transit MoU

February 18, 2015 5:55 am 

TEHRAN, Feb. 17 — Representatives from Iran, Oman, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan inked a memorandum of understanding on Monday at the first meeting of the Coordination Council of Ashgabat Agreement on the establishment of an international transportation and transit corridor.

The document was signed by the head of Iran’s Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, Davoud Keshavarzian, representative of the Omani Ministry of Transport and Communications, Uzbek Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiyev and Turkmen Minister of Railway Transport Bayram Annameredov.

The MoU seeks to facilitate transportation along the multi-faceted corridor stretching from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and Oman.

Based on the MoU, the four member countries are required to set up an expert working group to draw up strategies to expand transit cooperation.

The countries agreed that once the strategy is developed by the working group, it will be handed over to Turkmenistan, as the trustee country, to be summed up.

Speaking on the sideline of the signing ceremony, Mohammad-Javad Atrchian, a director-general of I.R. of Iran Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, said the working group’s proposals and strategies will be presented to the annual meeting of the Coordination Council of Ashgabat Agreement for final approval.

On Sunday, Keshavarzian said Iran is determined to use its full potential to develop transit in the region.

Speaking at the first meeting of Coordination Council of Ashgabat Agreement, Keshavarzian said the agreement to set up the international transport and transit corridor which was signed by Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in 2011, opened a new chapter in cooperation among these countries.

Referring to Iran’s special geopolitical location, he said the country, which lies in the heart of the Silk Road and several transport corridors, plays a very effective role in developing regional trade and transit.

The official said 12 million tons of goods were transited via Iran in 2014, adding this shows that Road and Transport Ministry has drawn up appropriate plans to improve the transit sector.

He said the Road Ministry has equipped Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea ports to increase cargo handling capacity, built Atrak-Barekat Railway, extended Chabahar-Sarakhs railway network with the length of 1,500 km, equipped and developed Chabahar Port and approved a strategic plan on road safety for 2010-2019.

Keshavarzian said that the working group established to pursue the implementation of Ashgabat Agreement should meet regularly, underlining that the Coordination Council of Ashgabat Agreement, which includes deputy road and transportation ministers of member countries, should also hold sessions annually. (PNA/IRNA)

LGI/CDN

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