Ashgabat, Kabul interested in implementing transit project through Azerbaijan

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Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are interested in the implementation of a regional transit project through Azerbaijan, Trend reports with reference to a joint statement by the presidents of the two countries Feb. 24.

The document was signed following the negotiations that took place in Ashgabat between Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

“The leaders of the countries noted with satisfaction the beginning of the implementation of the five-sided agreement between Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Turkmenistan dated Nov. 15, 2017 on transit and transport cooperation (the Lazurit, or Lapis Lazuli Corridor Agreement),” the statement said.

The parties also reaffirmed support for the proposal to hold a meeting of transport ministers and heads of the customs services of the state, which are parties to the agreement in May 2019 in Ashgabat.

The Lapis Lazuli transit project envisions railways and highways connecting the city of Torghundi in Afghanistan’s Herat Province with Ashgabat, and further with the Caspian port of Turkmenbashi. The corridor will continue to Baku, then through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches in Poti and Batumi, and then from Ankara to Istanbul.