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ANKARA, Jan 5: A freight train ran from Pakistan to Turkey through Iran for the first time in more than 10 years to reopen a rail route linking the three countries, Ankara’s transport minister said on Wednesday. Departing from the Pakistani capital Islamabad, the train took a route of 5,981 kilometers in a journey lasting 12 days and 21 hours, comprising eight loaded wagons with a capacity of 22 tons, Adil Karaismailoglu said in a ceremony to mark the event.
“With the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul train, a new railway corridor will be provided to our exporters in the south of Asia,” state-run Anadolu News Agency quoted the minister as saying. The rail route “would offer Pakistan an opportunity to further increase its exports and strengthen its connectivity with international markets,” said Pakistani lawmaker Hussain Qureshi. The railway project had been suspended for more than a decade due to “technical issues,” according to Tehran’s ambassador to Ankara Mohammad Farazmand. (KUNA)