Azerbaijan reaffirms support to development of “Caspian Sea – Black Sea International Transport Route”

I would like to reaffirm Azerbaijan’s support to the development of the Caspian Sea � Black Sea International Transport Route, said Azerbaijans Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov as he addressed a special meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Turkmenistan on Caspian Sea � Black Sea International Transport Route in Bucharest.

The Foreign Minister said: The outcome of the Caspian Sea � Black Sea International Transport Route (CSBS), of which I do believe can contribute to further promotion of cooperation among our countries and other interested parties in the field of transport, transit and logistics.

As it is known, the idea of CSBS put forward by Romania and Turkmenistan was initially discussed by our experts last year in Ashgabat and now we have the chance to exchange views on the matter at the ministerial level here in Bucharest.

The region that the territories of our countries cover is of paramount geostrategic importance: it naturally forms the bridge between Europe and Asia, while at the same time it is a vital transportation hub between North-South and East-West. Today we have gathered here to endorse our intention to build up a new avenue of cooperation between our countries.

Mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of our countries constitutes the basis of our cooperation.

Minister Mammadyarov said: It is obvious that development of economically feasible transport infrastructure always has tremendous role on increase of trade volumes which in its turn has a multiplier effect on promotion of overall bilateral and multilateral relations. Having this in mind, Azerbaijan has always been strongly supportive to building interconnectivity in the region and spared no efforts to enhance the region’s transit potential through promoting East-West, North-South and South-West transport corridors.

In this regard, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad commissioned in 2017 will connect not only the participating countries but continents as well. Along with this, the construction of the New International Sea Trade Port in Alat city of Azerbaijan and its International Logistic Centre, as well as Free Economic Zone will significantly increase the competitiveness of the international transport corridors and trade and transit capacity of the region.

We also welcome the EU publication on Indicative TEN-T Investment Action Plan and inclusion of the Azerbaijani part of the East-West corridor, both road and rail, into TEN-T core networks. This can provide a solid platform to further enhance our transport dialogue with EU which was successfully launched in Baku just two weeks ago.

There are some issues that can simply not be overlooked. Romania is one of the geographical gateways to EU market for us, but with realization of the CSBS route I do believe it will be turned into an operational one. When it comes to our immediate neighbors, Turkmenistan provides us with an access to Central Asia and further to the Far East and Georgia is also an important link of East-West, South-West transport corridors and an entry point to the Black Sea.

Citing the abovementioned promising perspectives and geo-economic benefits the said initiative able to yield, I once again would like to reaffirm Azerbaijan’s support to the development of the Caspian Sea � Black Sea International Transport Route in a quadruple partnership, which intends to be another competitive link in the broader region and express our readiness to be an active contributor to this process.

We have no doubt that establishment of a quadrilateral working group and elaboration of a road map by our experts will ultimately lead us to multilateral agreement with the purpose of ensuring rapid implementation of CSBS and consequently, its effective operation, Elmar Mammadyarov added.