Gul to Visit Ani for Railroad Inauguration

ANKARA (Combined Sources)-Turkish President Abdullah Gul will visit Ani on July 23, during a visit to the region to attend a ceremony to inaugurate the construction of the Turkish part of a regional railway passing through Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan

Gul will be joined by Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev and Georgia’s Mikhail Saakashvili who will push the button in Kars for the construction of the 76-kilometer-long Turkish part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, said Anatolia citing sources from the Transportation Ministry.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Georgian part was held in November 2007, again with the participation of the three countries’ leaders. The project will directly link Turkey with Central Asian countries, which are at the center of oil and natural gas reserves and when realized, a train setting off from London will be able to reach China.

Gul’s visit to Kars comes as talk of normalizing Turkish-Armenia relations has been revitalized. On Friday, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan appeared to confirm a report in the Turkish media that Turkish and Armenian officials had secret talks in Switzerland earlier this month. The report in the H?rriyet daily said the officials met for a few days starting on July 8 and that a senior Foreign Ministry official headed the Turkish delegation.

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