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Karsi-Akhalkalaki railway issues

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 11
The Karsi-Akhalkalaki railway connecting Turkey to Azerbaijan via Georgia which is under construction was initiated and financed by Turkey and Azerbaijan. The appropriate agreement was signed on February 7, 2007, but some controversies between the two countries have delayed its implementation. Now however it seems Turkey is facing some complications and the railway construction might proceed more intensively.

Armenia was against this project from the very beginning and the so-called football diplomacy sessions, at which the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan visited each other's countries to watch football matches, have made reopening the borders between Armenia and Turkey possible. The construction of Karsi-Akhalkalaki almost stopped completely in 2009 in consequence, however current developments show that Azerbaijan still needs this railway and Turkey has also realised the necessity of it, even only as a bargaining tool with Armenia.

The Ministry of Economy of Georgia states that 30-35% of the work on the Georgian segment is finished but an extra two years are needed to complete all of it. Georgia is therefore on standby while the major players clarify their positions.