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Georgia: Construction of Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway begins in 2008

October 2007.


Construction on the Georgian part of the Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway will begin in 2008, Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli said in Yerevan on October 15.
Some 30 kilometers of new railway, linking the Georgian city of Akhalkalaki to the Turkish border, will be constructed at an approximate cost of USD 220 million.

Turkey is responsible for the construction of another 68 kilometers from the Turkish border to Akhalkalaki. The existing links between Tbilisi and Baku are due to be refurbished as part of the same project.

The railway will connect Turkey with Azerbaijan, avoiding Armenia, and will provide an alternative route to the Kars–Gyumri–Akhalkalaki line which has not functioned since Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993.

Armenia has voiced its opposition to the project, and American corporation OPIC refused to invest in the railway line due Armenia’s exclusion.
 
Financial backing has been secured from Turkey and Azerbaijan.


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