Iran, Azerbaijan agree to build bridge on border river of Astarachay
09 June 2021
Iranian and Azerbaijani governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly finance and construct a bridge on Astarachay, the river that separates the Iranian city of Astara from its namesake town on the other side of the border.
The MoU was signed on Wednesday between Iran’s transportation minister Mohammad Eslami and Azerbaijan’s deputy prime minister Shahin Mustafayev in a meeting in Baku.
Azerbaijani media reported that the agreement would cover the construction of a major road bridge as well as a pedestrian crossing on Astarachay.
A report by the Iranian transportation ministry said that the bridge would connect the Astara-Baku Highway in Azerbaijan to the Astara-Ardabil Ring Road on the Iranian side of the border.
The report said the new connection would boost trade ties between Iran and Azerbaijan as the two countries plan to set up a new terminal on the border for processing road traffic.
A rail link was built over Astarachay in 2017 to connect the two cites of Astara on the Iranian and Azerbaijani side of the border.
The Iranian transportation ministry said the road bridge on Astarachay is planned to finish within a year through equal funding provided by Iran and Azerbaijan.
Eslami and Mustafayev pledged to provide support for new projects on the border once restrictions related to the coronavirus are eased.
Azerbaijan has sought to expand its economic and trade ties with Iran since the end of a war with neighboring Armenia last year that led to the liberation of territories recognized as Azerbaijani under the international law but controlled for decades by ethnic Armenian groups.
Iran seeks to benefit more from use of roads and railways in Azerbaijan to increase its exports to Russia and countries in Europ