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ETREK (Turkmenistan), December 3. /TASS/. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran have successfully completed their joint project to build a railway line connecting landlocked Central Asia with the Persian Gulf.
The line was officially inaugurated on Wednesday in a ceremony at a train station on the border of Iran and Turkmenistan. The presidents of the three countries, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Hassan Rouhani, gathered for an official opening in the Turkmen frontier village of Ak-Yayla, and then travelled in VIP carriages to Iran, where the ceremony continued, the Turkmen government’s press service said.
Agreement on the construction of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway was signed in 2007, while construction work began in 2009. The railroad is part of the North-South Corridor, linking the train stations of Uzen in Kazakhstan with Gyzylgaya-Bereket-Etrek in Turkmenistan and Gorgan in the Iranian province of Golestan. From there, it is connected to Iran’s national rail network, making its way to Gulf ports.
Kazakhstan completed the construction of its 120-kilometer section in 2012. The longest — almost 700-kilometer — section of the railway, running through Turkmenistan territory, was finished in 2014.
The 928-kilometer (577-mile) route is expected to substantially facilitate commercial transportation from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf.