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Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line Officially Launched

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line Officially Launched

Drawing attention to the cooperation in politics, military, defense, energy and tourism with Azerbaijan, Erdoğan said: "The continuous energy partnership between Turkey and Azerbaijan strengthening with the addition of new pipelines demonstrate the durability and sustainability of this cooperation", referring to the ongoing Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, which will be operational in 2018, and start delivering gas from Azerbaijan to Europe in 2020. It involved upgrading infrastructure in Azerbaijan and Georgia, rehabilitating 153 km of unused 1 520 mm gauge line from Marabda to a break-of-gauge facility at Akhalkalaki, and building 110 km of 1 435 mm gauge line to Kars via a 4·4 km tunnel under the Georgia-Turkey border at Kartsakhi.

"The BTK is the shortest and most reliable route connecting Europe with Asia", said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

Later today, Kvirikashvili will attend the official opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway.

This once again shows that all the projects involving Turkey and Azerbaijan and those initiated by the two countries are being implemented, noted President Aliyev.

After departing China, trains will cross into Kazakhstan at the Khorgos Gateway before being transported by ferry across the Caspian Sea toward Baku and then heading to Western Europe via Georgia and Turkey.

A railway worker in Agstafa, Azerbaijan.

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The line, which includes 105 km of new track, will have the capacity to transport one million passengers and 5 million tons of freight.

"Turkey is expected to gain an income of $1 billion per year from the BTK", Eren said.

Ilham Aliyev said that today the Turkey-Azerbaijan friendship, brotherhood and unity is an important factor for the region and plays a stabilizing role in the region. Azerbaijan and Armenia are in an unresolved conflict over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan is very interested in Turkey's military industry complex, which is growing day by day, President Aliyev said, adding: "We purchase and will continue to purchase military products from Turkey".

The agreement for the construction of the BTK was signed in Tbilisi in 2007.