"The BTK is the shortest and most reliable route connecting Europe with Asia", said Aliyev.
The oft-delayed railway "is a key component of a plan to create a new rail corridor linking Europe and Turkey with the Caspian Sea", International Railway Journal writes.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, located at the strategic crossroads of Europe and Asia and nearby sizeable markets such as Turkey, China, Iran and Russian Federation, is poised to become the top choice for foreign investors aiming to expand their business in the region. Cherishing these bilateral ties, Erdoğan said the robust partnership in politics, defense, economy, energy, trade and culture as well as the continuous communication and rapport between Turkey and Azerbaijan demonstrate the solidarity between the two countries very well.
"It's planned to carry 5 million tons of cargo in the first stage and 17 million tons in the next stage".
Later today, Kvirikashvili will attend the official opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway.
Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy Shahin Mustafayev and Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci signed "The Memorandum of Understanding on the signing of the preferential trade agreement between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Republic of Turkey".
BTK will cater 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight at the initial stage.
Trains can depart from cities in China, cross into Kazakhstan at the Khorgos Gateway, be transported across the Caspian Sea by ferry to the New Port of Baku and then be loaded directly onto the BTK and head to Europe.
Ilham Aliyev said that today the Turkey-Azerbaijan friendship, brotherhood and unity is an important factor for the region and plays a stabilizing role in the region. It may be mentioned that sleeper-car trains will link Baku to Istanbul, providing a unique opportunity to tourists to see three countries (Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan) in one ticket.
"Several European countries have expressed an interest in this project and Azerbaijan is in talks with them", the Azerbaijani president also said, adding that Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries were interested in transporting their goods via the new rail link.