Muscat: Iran is ready to transfer one million tonnes of oil to the refineries in Uzbekistan annually through a transport corridor that would also link Oman, according to Iranian Ambassador to Tashkent Ali Mardani Fard.
"Iran is ready to raise the issue of transporting one million tonnes of oil to this country (Uzbekistan) annually," Iran's Fars news agency quoted Mardani Fard as saying, citing Uzbek media reports.
The planned transport corridor will run from Uzbekistan across Turkmenistan and then to Oman via Iran.
The correspondent of the Trend News Agency in Tashkent also reported along similar lines, quoting a report by the Iranian Embassy in the Uzbek capital.
Earlier, on August 6, the foreign ministers of the Sultanate of Oman, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan held a meeting in Muscat as part of their continuing negotiations to further develop business and economic relations through establishment of a corridor for transportation and transit.
According to the Oman News Agency (ONA), the four foreign ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Ashgabat
Agreement on Establishment of the International Transport and Transit Corridor among the state parties.
Central Asia to Gulf
The agreement to establish the corridor connecting Central Asia to the Gulf was arrived at in 2011 between Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Qatar and Oman, but Qatar later decided not to participate in the project.
At the meeting in Muscat, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Omani minister responsible for foreign affairs, said that the project reflected the common desire to achieve tangible benefits for the peoples of the four countries by enhancing trade and investment with countries in the region's neighbourhood, too, as well as other international partners.
At present, 1.6 million tonnes of cargo is transported on the railways of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iran and if an agreement is reached, the figure can be increased by three million tonnes, Trend News Agency reported, citing the Iranian Embassy's report.
Experts say that the corridor will help boost economic ties between the countries involved and will help attract foreign investment.
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