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Pashinyan: Armenia Expresses Readiness to Restore Railway Communication With Azerbaijan

Dear representatives of the landlocked developing countries’ meeting being held under the theme of promoting equitable, affordable and inclusive transport connectivity for sustainable and resilient economies, I welcome all of you in Armenia to organize and attend this important event on this most important topic. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated this in his opening remarks Thursday at the Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries, which Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan is hosting.

“I must record that, in general, over time, we also review the role of transport communications in the sense that usually our first perception is that transport communications are important for the movement of goods and people. But in recent times, also due to our agendas, we record the importance of the role of transport communications in regional stability, security and, in general, peace. Due to the demand for peace and the establishment of peace, because it is our belief which we express on all international platforms that peace is, first of all, the possibility and existence of economic, cultural, and political ties between peoples. And these connections cannot take place without transport communications, and this is the reason why we have completed our approaches to the very important topic of opening regional communications in the Crossroads of Peace project, which, in fact, is about opening regional communications and has a direct connection to having greater access to the sea,” said the Armenian PM.

Pashinyan reminded that Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan have been closed for approximately 30 years.

“Today we are discussing a lot about opening regional communications, and I consider it very important to record here Armenia’s readiness to take very effective and real steps regarding the opening of communications in our region.

“Armenia expresses readiness to establish, restore railway communication between Armenia and Azerbaijan; moreover, through two pre-existing railways. The first is the northern route, which connects the Azerbaijani Kazakh [region] with the Armenian Tavush Province. The second is the southern route, which, among others, also connects the western regions of Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan. We [i.e. Armenia] believe that the western regions of Azerbaijan can be connected with Nakhichevan and the outside world also through the northern route. We have expressed this willingness officially.

“The next refers to the motorways, which can have northern, middle, and southern routes, which will open new opportunities for our region. In essence, through the Crossroads of Peace, Armenia can connect and be connected with other countries along the north-south and east-west axis..

“Moreover, we express the same readiness in terms of [re]opening the Armenia-Turkey railway, as well as in terms of reconstructing, reopening the two Armenia-Turkey motorways, which will have a significant impact not only on our region, but also on international economic relations, cultural, political ties, and global security issues, in general,” emphasized the Armenian premier.

He presented the principles that should be laid at the foundation of the Crossroads of Peace project of Armenia. Accordingly, the first is that all routes of communication must operate under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the countries through which they pass.

“Next, each country, through its state institutions, ensures the border, customs control, and security of all infrastructures in these communications in its territory. In order to carry out this task, recently by the decision of the Government of Armenia, a special division was created within the National Security Service, whose objective is to ensure the security of regional communications.

“The next principle is the following that all [regional] communications can be used for both domestic and international cargo transportation and communications. Countries use the infrastructures based on the principle of equality and reciprocity, and some simplifications of the procedures may take place, based on the principle of reciprocity and equality,” added the Armenian PM.

Pashinyan expressed hope that the Crossroads of Peace project will expand the opportunities of Armenia and Azerbaijan to access to the sea and create broader opportunities for multimodal cargo transportation.

“All this is possible when peace is established between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The main question that asked: to what extent is peace is possible, and within the framework of what principles it should take place,” the Armenian premier said, presenting again the principles being put forward by Armenia, on the basis of which a peace treaty shall be signed with Azerbaijan.

Source: NEWS.am