The official ceremony of launching the construction of the Uzen-Gyzylgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan transnational railway was held in Balkan province of Turkmenistan December 1. The ceremony was attended by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, as well as by acting minister of transportation and communications of Kazakhstan Zhenis Kasymbekov and acting director of Iranian railways Hassan Ziyari.
"Here, in Bereket, one of the railway stations of our country, we give a symbolic start to the construction of the transnational corridor North-South. Running across Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Iran, it will become the most convenient, economically efficient, i.e. the important transit route for a dozen of countries. The whole Europe, Russia, Central Asian states will have an outlet to southern seas via a shorter route. On the other hand, the Persian Gulf countries will have the same outlet in the northern direction," the head of state said.
"As regards Turkmenistan, the new railway, apart from its primary role as an important link in the transport infrastructure of Turkmenistan, is meant to be a strong incentive in developing the entire western regions which is home of enormous natural reserves," the president noted.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also signed a decree on the construction of the Turkmen part of the transnational railway as well as a relevant resolution. The ceremony was followed by the singing of a trilateral intergovernmental agreement on the construction of a railway and by laying down a section of gilded rail.
The 697,5 km stretch of the Uzen-Gyzylgaya-Bereket-Etrek-Gorgan transnational railway is to be commissioned along with all subsidiary facilities in December 2011.