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TIN news:   Caspian littoral states have agreed to cooperate closely to facilitate transportation across the sea, the media reported on Friday.
Transport ministers of the five countries – Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan – met in Iran’s capital Tehran earlier this week and discussed the steps needed to enhance cooperation in the region, reported Azerbaijan’s Azer News.
In their final statement that was released to the media, the ministers underscored the need to launch passenger ships among regional sates as well as the need to modernize existing infrastructures for air, sea, land and railway transport across the Caspian Sea.
Other decisions included establishing logistical centers and also increasing the facilities for transiting goods in the region.
Iran said in June that it had launched a shipping line in the Caspian Sea to ferry goods to Russia and Kazakhstan. It said the shipping line was meant to increase the competitiveness conditions for Iranian products in regional target markets.  
The country had already made it clear that it views transportation facilities across the Caspian as an important step toward the development of the North-South Transport Corridor which connects Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
In March 2015, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for serious efforts to push the project toward materialization, stressing that it can serve the economic interests of the countries in the region.
“Iran and Turkmenistan are determined to activate the North-South Corridor… in order to meet the interests of the all countries in the region,” he said in a press conference with his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, in Ashgabat.
Turkmenistan is also looking at the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transportation logistics route. This was formalized in Ashgabat in November 2014 when a draft agreement was signed. This rail freight route in Central Asia connects Turkmenistan and Afghanistan to the Black Sea, opening up European markets and greater cross-regional trading opportunities.

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