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May 26
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The Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway project, known as the Eco Container Train (ITI), was launched today by the container train move from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey.

In a ceremony attended by senior officials of Pakistani railway and the ministry of commerce, the ambassadors of Iran and Turkey, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and a representative of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO), Pakistani railways minister Azam Khan Swati said that the start of the container train move from Pakistan to Iran and Turkey was an old dream of the countries of the region, which has come true again.

Strengthening and expanding ECO rail cooperation can contribute to regional stability and peace, he added. 

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi who also attended the ceremony, for his part, said that this development is a new stage in the program of advancing the policy of regional communication and trade between neighbors and other countries.

The regional business cohesion is in dire need of important projects such as the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway, he added. 

The length of the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul railway is 6,500 km, of which 2,570 km is in Iran, 2,000 km in Turkey, and about 1,900 km in Pakistan.  

As the main founders of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the three countries of Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan are set to resume the ECO freight train to promote trade and regional connectivity after the gap of ten years.

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