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Romania reiterates in Turkmenistan its interest for the Black Sea-Caspian Sea freight corridor

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Secretary of state Maria Magdalena Grigore reiterated at a meeting with officials of four states Romania's interest for the forging of a freight corridor between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, showing the benefits, such as the narrow costs and the short time the goods would need to get to their destination, a release by the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) sent to AGERPRES on Thursday informs. 

According to the source, the secretary of state Maria Magdalena Grigore participated 24 through 25 October as head of the Romanian delegation, in the 4-party reunion on the fathering of the Black Sea - Caspian Sea Freight Corridor in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 

The project is Romania's and Turkmenistan's joint initiative who have invited Georgia and Azerbaijan to join. The Corridor involves the creation in the future of an intermodal maritime/river and road/rail transport route, between Central and Northern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia, with a possibility to be extended towards Asia-Pacific region. 

"On the sidelines of the 4-party reunion, the secretary of state Maria Magdalena Grigore had a meeting with the Deputy Prime minister, Foreign Affairs minister of the gov't of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov. On this occasion, the two officials reviewed the bilateral agenda's current stage, including the cooperation component between the EU and Turkmenistan. In context, the Romanian official brought to mind Romania's interest to boost relations with Turkmenistan, stressing on the transport, energy and education fields. During the talks, the schedule of the future events on the bilateral agenda was agreed upon, with priority on the organization in March 2019 of a reunion of the foreign affairs ministers of Romania, Turkmenistan, Georgia and Azerbaijan on the establishment of the Black Sea - Caspian Sea Freight Corridor and the 4-party format adoption of the Political Declaration on this project," the source informs. 

The reunion was opened by the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister of the gov't of Turkmenistan, Vepa Hadjiev, and the Romanian Secretary of state Maria Magdalena Grigore. The Ashgabat meeting was attended by officials of the authorities with relevant responsibilities from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Turkmenistan. 

They talked with the purpose to review the relevant technical aspects for the making of the project. In the offing of the Corridor's finalization, the participants stressed the geographical contiguity of the four above-mentioned countries, alongside the facilities offered by the ports of Constanta (Romania), Batumi, Poti (Georgia), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Turkmenbasi (Turkmenistan) and the direct connection between the Constanta Port and the Danube River (via the Danube-Black Sea Canal) and subsequently the water courses and the interior canals on the European continent, with access to Central and Northern Europe. 

"In her address, Maria Magdalena Grigore reiterated the interest of the Romanian party for the Corridor, given the advantages it could offer this transport variant, as well as the small costs and the reduced time for the goods to reach their destination. The Romanian dignitary emphasized the premises favourable to developing the freight Corridor's development, in context of adopting by the European Union on 15 October 2018 of the EU Strategy regarding the Europe-Asia connectivity, that is directly aiming at the four states, considering their geographical position, including their initiative to connect the Black Sea shores with the Caspian Sea's," the release adds. 

The reunion was also attended by the liaison chief officer of the EU Bureau in Turkmenistan, Lubomir Frebort, who conveyed a sustaining message on the EU's behalf. In context, the representatives of all of the participating states in the reunion have presented the invitation that the EU becomes part of this project. 

According to the source, another relevant aspect is given by the fact that the participants agreed that in March 2019 a ministerial reunion be organized with a view to ink a Political Declaration of the chief diplomats regarding the Black Sea - Caspian Sea freight corridor. 

The Romanian delegation comprised officials with the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), the Transport Ministry, through the CFR Marfa National Freight Transport Society - CFR Marfa SA and the National Company of the Navigation Canals Administration (CNACN), the National Tax Administration Agency (ANAF).

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