Central Asia, Gulf countries to establish rail route

26 Apr 2011

MENAFN) Turkmen Foreign Minister, Rashid Meredov, said that his country along with Uzbekistan, Iran, Qatar and Oman signed an agreement to establish a transit rail route connecting the Central Asian countries with the Gulf, reported Arabian Gulf.

Meredov added that the rail road would start from Uzbekistan across Turkmenistan then to the Gulf via Iran bypassing Afghanistan. In addition, the five countries would discuss ways to ease customs procedures in order to facilitate trade.

He said that the new rail line which would be completed next year could be part of the planned 934-km North-South railway transport, which is being developed in order to improve Turkmenistan’s access to Kazakhstan and Russia.

It is worth noting that Turkmenistan is the main producer and exporter of natural gas in Central Asia, owning the world’s fourth-largest reserves of the fuel. It also plans to increase its crude oil production more than sixfold to 67 million tones by 2030.

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