(MENAFN - Trend News Agency ) BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 14
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Ankara will fully support the revival of Karabakh, Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoglu said in an exclusive interview with Trend .
He pointed out that liberated Karabakh has become a source of pride for the Turkic people.
''Turkey will provide all kinds of technological and engineering support for the revival of Karabakh, a wonderful region of Azerbaijan. We have been together with Azerbaijan for better or for worse, both during the Second Karabakh War and in peacetime,'' the Turkish minister added.
Further, Karaismailoglu spoke about the significance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey and about his visit to Azerbaijan.
He noted that to date, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway transported up to 20 million tons of cargo.
''Railways accounted for the major part of the international cargo transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been lasting since early 2020. The volume of cargo transported by BTK reached 34.1 million tons as of 2020, which is 35 percent more compared to the same period of 2019,'' Karaismailoglu said.
BTK, which plays a significant role in cargo transportation from Turkey to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, China and Tajikistan, transported 208,692 tons of cargo with 3,899 containers in the first five months of 2021, the minister said.
Karaismailoglu went on to add that despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkish-Azerbaijani trade grew by 5 percent in 2020, compared to 2019 and amounted to $4.6 billion, including energy resources. "We aim to achieve a trade turnover of $15 billion with Azerbaijan by 2023".
He recalled his visit to Azerbaijan in May 2021.
"The visit was very fruitful. We held meetings with the Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Rashad Nabiyev and between delegations, and then President Ilham Aliyev received us. We got acquainted with the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, with projects for the construction of the Horadiz-Aghband railway, the Ahmadbayli-Horadiz-Minjivan-Aghband and Ahmadbayli-Fuzuli-Shusha highways, which are well underway with participation of Turkish contractors," said Karaismaioglu.
Karaismaioglu also talked about the visit of Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Rashad Nabiyev to Turkey.
"On February 17, 2021, we held a meeting with the delegation headed by Minister Nabiyev and discussed bilateral relations in the field of transport and communications. The Azerbaijani delegation visited the Turkish Information Technologies and Communications Organization and established cooperation with it to study Turkey's experience and knowledge in the field of information technologies and communications,'' the minister noted.
Afterwards, on February 18-19, Turkey hosted meetings of the joint economic commission with Azerbaijan, he said. "The protocols signed with the participation of Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Azerbaijani Prime Minister Ali Asadov envisage deepening cooperation between the relevant ministries of the two countries."
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