January 16, 2007


According to a variety of media reports, construction of the controversial railway linking Turkey and Azerbaijan, via Georgia, will begin by no later than July 2007.

Georgian Economic Development Minister, Giorgi Arveladze, is quoted as saying that an agreement on the details of the new rail link was reached this past Sunday in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

The 285 kilometer project, which will take an estimated two and one-half years to complete, will start in Kars, Turkey and end in Baku, Azerbaijan. It will bypass Armenia completely and will not utilize the old Kars - Gyumri railroad.

Neither the United States nor the European Union will finance the project which is estimated to cost some USD 400 million. Turkey and Azerbaijan will pay for most of the construction costs, with Georgia later paying for these loans through transit fees.

Matthew Bryza, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs commented on the railway agreement by stating that,

"Of course, we would like the railway, which connects Turkey with Baku, to pass through Armenia, since it reflects our policy. Second, from economic point of view it is more expedient to connect Turkey and Georgia through Armenian territory. But we cannot make decisions on that issue. Investors themselves push forward investment plans, which are more profitable for them. If Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia want to construct a railway, of course, we cannot object. But we do not particularly support that project. We hope that in near future we will see such a transportation scheme, which includes all the countries of the region ."


At January 19, 2007, Blogger Eso said...

All throughout history the commencment of railway construction tended to be a prelude to war. A fine case in point, WW1... Berlin-Constantinople-Baghdad.

At January 21, 2007, Blogger Ara said...

We must do everything in our power to stop to construction, as like is pointed out, Turkey and Azerbijan are setting things up for a possible answer to the question that they stated well over 100 years ago.

As for the the U.S., they can very well prevent the construction and sanction the whore of the region, Georgia.


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