The groundbreaking ceremony of Aghband road bridge that will be built on the state border with Iran on the territory of the East Zangezur Economic Region was held (online) on September 21, with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev and Minister of Roads and Urban Development of the Islamic Republic of Iran Rustam Qasimi.
The project will create additional opportunities for the countries of the region, by serving to increase the potential of the East–West Transport Corridor, as well as the expansion of transport and economic relations in the region.
The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and representatives of the Ministry of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Energy, State Customs Committee, State Border Service, State Agency of Azerbaijan Automobile Roads and Azerbaijan Railways CJSC took part in the event.
It was pointed out at the ground-breaking ceremony that Azerbaijan–Iran relations are at a high level and cooperation between the two countries in political, economic, cultural and other fields is developing dynamically thanks to the efforts of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi. It was stated that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Iran in the field of transport is developing rapidly in many directions, based on a broad potential.
It was noted that following Azerbaijan’s victory in the 44-day Patriotic War, large-scale restoration and construction work is being carried out in the economic regions of Karabakh and East Zangezur. As part of this work, the Horadiz–Aghband highway project has been completed by 59 percent, and the Horadiz–Aghband railway project – by 38 percent.
It was highlighted at the event that a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of new communication links between the East Zangezur Economic Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic passing through the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran was signed on 11 March 2022. As a practical implementation of this Memorandum, it is envisaged to build road and railway bridges over the Araz River between the East Zangezur Economic Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, passing through the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This initiative by the leaders of both countries not only opens up a new transport corridor, but also serves to create an important international corridor for electricity.
It was brought to attention that the bridge which will connect the 112-kilometre-long Horadiz–Jabrayil–Zangilan–Aghband highway with the highway network of the Islamic Republic of Iran over the Araz River was designed with a length of 216 meters and a width of 24.5 meters. The bridge has 2 lanes for vehicles and 1 lane for pedestrians in each direction. It is also planned to build an exit point from the state border capable of receiving at least 1,000 freight vehicles (export, import and transit cargo) with 500 entries and 500 exits per day on the territory of both countries.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, it was expressed confidence that the new bridge will serve to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries, further develop transport links and increase the transit potential of the region.