Azerbaijan is reliable transit nation with transport and logistics infrastructure available to ECO member countries, says Azerbaijani President Aliyev
The Azerbaijani president announced on Tuesday that an agreement has been reached with the Tehran administration for the construction of a road and railway that will provide access to Nakhchivan via Iranian territory.
Ilham Aliyev sent a message to the participants of the 27th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which was held in Shusha, Azerbaijan.
In his message, the Azerbaijani leader stated that his country is a reliable transit country, highlighting that the transport and logistics infrastructure of his country is open to ECO member countries.
He pointed out that Azerbaijan aims to increase the carrying capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway from one million to five million tons.
“An agreement has been reached with this country (Iran) on the construction of a road and railway that will provide transportation to Nakhchivan through Iranian territory.
“At the same time, Azerbaijan is actively working to further expand the transmission capacity of the North-South Transport Corridor,” he stressed.
Nakhchivan has Azerbaijan’s only land border with Türkiye, measuring 17.7 kilometers (11 miles), and serves as the gateway from Türkiye to the Turkic world.
Nakhchivan, which has been an important transition and connection point between east and west, north and south due to its geographical location throughout history, over the centuries has been under the rule of the Seljuks, Eldiguzids, Khwarazmshahs, Ilkhanids, Timurs, Aq Qoyunlu, Qara Qoyunlu, Ottomans, Safavids, and Qajars. Nakhchivan, ruled by local khans in the 18th century, was annexed by Czarist Russia in the early 19th century.
Nakhchivan, whose population is mostly made up of Azerbaijani Turks, remained within the borders of Azerbaijan, which declared its independence on May 28, 1918, following the 1917 Revolution in Russia. Suffering greatly from the attacks of Armenians from 1918 to 1921, Nakhchivan showed heroic resistance with the help of a small number of Turkish officers and soldiers and the weapons left by the Turkish army during its withdrawal in order to ward off the Armenian danger.
Nakhchivan’s natural gas needs are currently supplied from Iran. On Dec. 15, 2020, Türkiye and Azerbaijan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Supply of Natural Gas in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic to reduce Nakhchivan’s dependence on Iran for natural gas to zero.
Under the pact, a new 85-km (53-mi) pipeline will be built to Nakhchivan as a continuation of the Igdir Natural Gas Pipeline, which exits via the Eastern Anatolia Natural Gas Main Transmission Line. The pipeline, which will have an annual transport capacity of 500 million cubic meters, will meet all of Nakhchivan’s natural gas needs when it comes into operation.