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Ceremony For Turkmen-Iran Rail Link

Ashgabat, Bishkek; May 3 (RFE/RL) - A ceremony to open a rail link between Turkmenistan and Iran is scheduled for May 13. Itar-Tass news agency yesterday said heads-of-state of 12 countries, and government representatives of another 40 countries are scheduled to attend. The 300-km rail link connects the Turkmen city of Tedzhen with the Iranian city of Mashad.

The news agency also quotes Turkmenistan's Foreign Minister Boris Shikhmuradov as saying that at the ceremony a quadri-lateral agreement is expected to be signed by the presidents of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The agreement is reported to concern a transport corridor to pass through the Central Asian States to the port of Poti in Georgia.

Following the rail link ceremony, high-level talks on regional economic cooperation will be held in Ashgabat, involving the Central Asian States, Turkey and Iran. Pakistan and Afghanistan will also be represented at the regional meeting.

Monday (May 6), the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan plan a one-day summit in Bishkek.