Azerbaijan is interested in increasing cargo traffic on the Lapis-Lazuli transport route, Azernews cites Azerbaijan’s Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev saying at the opening of Afghanistan-made goods exhibition in Baku on October 11.
“We are interested in increasing cargo traffic on the Lapis-Lazuli transport route and today we discussed this issue with the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Afghanistan. This route has a great importance in terms of product delivery both to Azerbaijan and to third countries. We will continue supporting this route,” Mustafayev stated.
“We intend to develop not only trade, but also transport and transit. Azerbaijan has already become a transport and transit hub, and we want to use it,“ Ajmal Ahmady, the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Afghanistan, said at the event.
In November 2017, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed an agreement on the creation of the Lapis Lazuli transport corridor which is set to connect the five countries. National railways and highways already form a significant part of this corridor. The agreement aims to facilitate cargo transport logistics and simplify customs procedures. The Lazurite corridor was opened in the province of Herat in the west of Afghanistan on December 13, 2018.
The railways and motorways connect the city of Torgundi in the Afghan province of Herat with Ashgabat, then with the port of Turkmenbashi on the shore of the Caspian Sea. From Turkmenbashi, goods will be able to travel further by ferry to Baku, where they would be placed on train cars and continue westward to Europe across the South Caucasus.