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Iran and Azerbaijan to join railways as part of freight route

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan agreed on Sunday to work towards completing their portion of a planned freight railway route from Europe to South Asia, Iranian state media reported.

After talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev, the two countries signed an accord to link their rail systems on a trial basis, state news agency IRNA reported.

The planned freight route, called the North-South International Transport Corridor, aims to connect northern Europe to South Asia by using the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia. A shipping service is to be set up between Iran's Gulf port of Bandar Abbas and Mumbai in India.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by David Goodman)

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