Information About Participation Of China And Kazakhstan In Kars-Tbil

INFORMATION ABOUT PARTICIPATION OF CHINA AND KAZAKHSTAN IN KARS-TBILISI-BAKU RAILWAY PROJECT NOT CONFIRMED OFFICIALLY

Noyan Tapan
Aug 30 2006

YEREVAN, AUGUST 30, NOYAN TAPAN. Speaker for the RA President
Victor Soghomonian failed to receive any "official confirmation"
that China and Kazakhstan intend to participate in the construction
of Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway. He stated this at the August 30 press
conference. In response to a question of NT correspndent about official
Yerevan’s attitude to the participation of China and Kazakhstan in
the indicated construction project, V. Soghomonian said that "it
is worth waiting a bit and then watching the developments to take
place." He reminded that official Yerevan has repeatedly expressed
its negative position and concerns about the project. "If there
are developments in the future as well, we’ll not keep silent," he
pointed out. To recap, in his recent interview with the newspaper
"Zaman", the Turkish minister of transport Binali Yeldrum told
about China’s and Kazakhstan’s intention to participate in the
Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway project. In his words, the "previous
contradiction" between Armenia and Turkey allegedly caused a delay
in this project’s implementation for years on end. In his opinion,
the railway is going to change the current situation in the region
and to improve general conditions there.

"Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are working jointly in order to
overcome all those difficulties that have a negative impact on the
regional economy," the Turkish minister said. According to him, the
project will establish a direct link between Turkey and Azerbaijan
via Georgia: "The Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway will link Turkey with
Azerbaijan. It is important that all cargos in the region reach
Europe and Asia through Turkey." It is noteworthy that many donor
states refused to participate in the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku construction
project on the grounds that in this way Armenia would be isolated
from the regional railway transportation network.

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