Implementation of Lapis Lazuli Agreement discussed in Turkmenistan

ASHGABAT (TCA) — The conference of transport ministers of the member countries of Lapis Lazuli Agreement between Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Afghanistan was held on November 28 in the Avaza national tourist zone on Turkmenistan’s Caspian coast, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported.

The document was signed on November 15, 2017 at the ministerial session of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII) in Ashgabat. Its adoption was an important input to the intensification of productive partnership for the improvement of economic integration of the region and significant growth of trade volume.

A greetings message of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov to the participants of International Ministerial Conference on Lapis Lazuli was read before the start of the plenary session. It was followed by the speeches of the heads of the delegations: Vice-premier of the Government of Turkmenistan Muhammethan Chakiyev, First Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Yagub Eiyubov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Achilbay Ramatov, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of Turkey Mehmet Cahit Turhan, Minister of Transport of Afghanistan Mohammad Hamid Tahmasi, and Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Akakiy Sagirashvili.

Launch of test deliveries via Lapis Lazuli transport corridor, agreement on the tariffs for transit along this route and other aspects of the project were discussed at the forum.

The Conference is to become another step in the implementation of the project of international Lapis Lazuli transport and transit corridor, which is aimed at the improvement of productive cooperation in the geo-economic space including the regions of Central and South Asia, Caspian and Black Sea basins and the Mediterranean.

The Lapis Lazuli corridor will start at Afghanistan’s northern Aqina port in Faryab province and Torghandi in western Herat province and will run to Turkmenbashi seaport in Turkmenistan. From there it will cross the Caspian Sea and will link the Azerbaijani capital Baku to Tbilisi and Georgia’s Black Sea ports of Batumi and Poti. It will then connect with Kars in eastern Turkey before linking to Istanbul and Europe.

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