New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
The Trans-Iranian Railway was a major railway building project started in 1927 and completed in 1938, under the direction of the Persian monarch, Reza Shah, with indigenous capital. It links the capital Tehran with the Persian Caspian Sea; the railway connected Bandar Shah in the north and Bandar Shahpur in the south via Ahvaz and Tehran. During the land reforms implemented by Mohammad Reza Shah in 1963 as part of the "White Revolution" the Trans-Iranian railway was extended to link Tehran to Mashhad and Isfahan; the idea of a railway connecting Russia and India was proposed by several private Russian promoters in 1889, 1900, 1905. However, the Russian government declined such proposals, fearing that it would jeopardize Russia's geographically enabled commercial dominance in Iran as well as complicate relations with the British. In 1889 Russia and the Shah agreed that no railways could be built in Iran without the mutual consensus of the Russians. However, by 1910 the agreement was vetoed in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution.
Fears that Russian interests were no longer primary, alongside the surfacing of anti-Russian political forces in the country, the emergence of the German threat, made it more important than for the country to protect its commercial interests in Iran by building a railway. In order for the railway to be built, the problem of raising enough capital to fund the project was discussed; the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 was one of several factors leaving Russia on a tight budget, preventing Russia from providing the funds. The British were solicited as well, but the request could not be granted, pushing back initiation of the railway's construction further. Nikolay Khomyakov, President of the Duma, I. A. Zveginstov, supporters of the Anglo-Russian Entente, promoted a private initiative for a railway connecting India and Europe, to counteract the economic threat Germany posed to the region. Germany's influence over the region was enabled by the Baghdad Railway, which connected Germany and the Ottoman Empire, enabling Germany to begin plans for connecting the railway to Tehran to increase its commercial enterprise.
Despite opposition from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance, there was a great deal of support for the project. A Trans-Iranian Railway Consortium was formed by December 1910, consisting of twelve major Russian banks. Nine of these banks came to an agreement with major French banks in 1911, resulting in the crucial financial support needed to fund the railway. However, the final step needed to initiate the project was the support of the British, who wanted to restore financial stability in Iran but did not wish to be involved in the Trans-Iranian Railway Consortium through the proposed four to six million pound loan, proposed by Alexander Izvolsky, Imperial Foreign Minister 1906–10, Sergey Sazonov, Foreign Minister 1910–16. Sazonov continued to urge for the loan, believing it to be the solution to prevent Persia from bankruptcy. Lord Curzon, British Viceroy of India, rejected the loan, suspicious that the Russians had an acquisitive eye on Britain's precious Indian colony, provoking stark protest from Sazonov against the accusation.
In 1912, the Russian and British financiers formed a Société d'Etudes for the Trans-Iranian railway. When Arthur von Gwinner, Chief Manager of Deutsche Bank and the Baghdad Railway, announced plans to build a section of the railway connecting Baghdad to Khanaqin by 1916, the Russians moved to secure British support and French investments in the Société d'Etudes; the Russians were concerned with the construction of the northern section of the line, extending from Astara to Tehran, while the British were more concerned with the southern section, since they dominated the southern region and the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, the Balkan Wars in the Ottoman Empire created an unstable situation in the country, again putting off the initiation of the application; such instability caused investors in the Société d'Etudes to hesitate in investing in a bankrupt Iran. Sazonov suggested that appointing a strong Iranian leader would aid the financial aspect of the railway project. Sa'd Dawla, former minister under former Muhammad Ali Shah, agreed to work with the two powers to use a grant from the Société d'Etudes and thus proceed with the construction of the Trans-Iranian Railway without the agreement of the newly formed parliament.
However, Sir Edward Grey, Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, refused to force the Iranians to accept Sa'd Dawla as Prime Minister, because of his aversion to the Constitutional movement in Iran. The outcome of the Balkan Wars caused Russian and Britain to accept the probability of war between the Central Powers in the near future, suggesting the necessity of strong Anglo-Russian relations. Sazonov grew frustrated with Britain's inability to compromise on a route incorporating India, threatened to proceed with the northern route. Fearing the implications of the impending war, Grey at last found it in Britain's best interest to concede at last, agreed to initiate application of the railway under the Balmoral conditions. By this time Britain had further consolidated its control over the Persian Gulf. By June 1914 surveys for the Enzeli-Tehran section had begun, by 1915 the results of the Astara-Tehran part of the railway were completed and published. Still, progress on the railway was slow.
However, a few days after the outbreak of World War I, Russia repudiated its obligation to build the Tehran-Khanaqin line under the Potsdam Agreement. After the substantial interruption of World War I, the project for constructing a standard-gauge 1
Zaranj or Zarang is a city in southwestern Afghanistan, near the border with Iran, which has a population of 160,902 people as of 2015. It is the capital of Nimruz province and is linked by highways with Lashkar Gah to the east, Farah to the north and the Iranian city of Zabol to the west. Zaranj is a major border crossing between Afghanistan and Iran, of significant importance to the trade-route between Central Asia and South Asia with the Middle East. Zaranj is a Transit Hub in western Afghanistan, on the border with Iran. There are 1,759 hectares of agricultural land. Commercial land use is clustered on the main road to Iran; the history of Zaranj dates back over 2500 years and Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar, founder of the Saffarid dynasty was born in the city. Modern Zaranj bears the name of an ancient city whose name is attested in Old Persian as Zranka. In Greek, this word became Drangiana. Other historical names for Zaranj include Zirra, Zarani etc; the word Zaranj is derived from the ancient Old Persian word zaranka.
The region of Drangiana where the Helmand or the Hindmand meets Hamun-e-helmand and creates a fertile inland delta was known in Sassanid times as'kuchak hind' or'little India'. Achaemenid Zranka, the capital of Drangiana, was certainly located at Dahan-e Gholaman, southeast of Zabol in Iran. After the abandonment of that city, its name, Zarang or Zaranj in Perso-Arabic orthography, was transferred to the subsequent administrative centers of the region, which itself came to be known as Sakastān Sijistan and Sistān. Medieval Zaranj is located at Nād-i `Alī, 4.4 km north of the modern city of Zaranj. According to the Arab geographers, prior to medieval Zaranj, the capital of Sistan was located at Ram Shahristan. Ram Shahristan had been supplied with water by a canal from the Helmand River, but its dam broke, the area was deprived of water, the populace moved three days' march to found Zaranj; this Zaranj appears on the Peutinger Map of late Antiquity. The area came under Muslim rule in 652. In 661, a small Arab garrison reestablished its authority in the region after having temporarily lost control due to skirmishes and revolts.
A Nestorian Christian community is recorded in Zaranj in the sixth century, by the end of the eighth century there was a Jacobite diocese of Zaranj. In the 9th century Zaranj was the capital of the Saffarid dynasty, whose founder was the local coppersmith turned warlord, Ya'qub ibn al-Layth al-Saffar, it became part of the Ghaznavids, Trimurids and others. Defeated by the Samanids in 900, the Saffarids sank to a position of regional importance, until conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1003. Subsequently, Zaranj served as the capital of the Mihrabānid maliks of Nīmrūz. In the early 18th century, the city became part of the Afghan Hotaki dynasty until they were removed from power in 1738 by Nader Shah of Khorasan. By 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani made it part of modern Afghanistan after he united all the different tribes and acquired the territories from northeastern Iran to Delhi in India. Under the modern Afghan governments, the area was known as Farah-Chakansur Province until 1968, when it was separated to form the provinces of Nimruz and Farah.
The city of Zaranj became the capital of Nimroz province. A new highway called Route 606 was built between Zaranj and Delaram in Farah province by the Indian Government's Border Roads Organization at a cost of about US $136 million to open up a link between the deep sea port at Chabahar in Iran to Afghanistan's main ring road highway system which connects Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz; the 215-kilometre-long highway, a symbol of India's developmental work in the war-ravaged country, was handed over to Afghan authorities by Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in January 2009 in the presence of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta. "Completion of the road reflects the determination of both India and Afghanistan that nothing can prevent or hinder collaboration between the two countries," Mukherjee said at a function to mark this handover. On the occasion, Karzai said, the completion of the project is a message to those who want to stop cooperation between India and Afghanistan.
"Our cooperation will not stop". The Taliban was opposed to this project and launched frequent attacks on the construction workers in an attempt to force the winding up of the work. A total of six Indians, including a Border Roads Organisation driver and four ITBP soldiers, 129 Afghans were killed in these attacks; the province has been one of the 7 where the Taliban have been regrouping. On 14 August 2012 dozens of civilians were killed in Zaranj by several suicide-bombers in a major terrorist attack on the city. Due to Zaranj's close proximity to Iran, the city relies on Iranian products. With the increase of trade the Afghan Border Police is dealing with a rise in smuggling illegal drugs and weapons; the overall economic situation is becoming better for the local population of the city. Hundreds of trucks containing merchandise from the Middle East enter the city on a daily basis. In the last decade, the U. S. Marines and others of the International Security Assistance Force have been visiting Zaranj city.
The US Marines and other U. S. officials are involved with the Afghan government in major development projects. This includes improvement made to the irrigation netw
Darwaz-e Bala District
Darwaz-e Bala known as Nusay, is a district in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan. It was created in 2005 from part of Darwaz District, it is home to 11,000 residents. This district borders the Shekay, Kuf Ab, Maimay districts, along with districts in Darvoz, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province, Tajikistan; the district was part of the Darvaz principality, a semi-independent statelet ruled by a mir. Badakhshan Province Map – United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The Hajigak Pass is situated at a height of 3,700 metres above sea-level in the northern part of Maidan Wardak province, connecting it with Bamyan province to the northwest. It is one of the two main routes from Kabul to Bamyan in Hazarajat, leading across the Koh-i-Baba range; the two main routes from Kabul to Bamyan are from the south via Maidan Wardak and the Hajigak Pass, from the north via Parwan and the Shibar Pass. The journey via the Shibar Pass is 6 and half hours long covering around 237 km long; the Shibar pass is still preferred over the Hajigak pass on safety grounds, because in the harsh climate of the area the Hajigak remain covered with snow during most of the year. The Hajigak route leaves Kabul from Kote Sangi, about 1 km west of Kabul University, follows the paved highway to Ghazni west and south into Maidan Wardak province. There the route leaves the Ghazni highway, turning right to head west through Maidan Shar, the capital of Maidan Wardak province, it continues through Jalrez, Sia Sang, Duz Qol, before crossing the Unai Pass to Gardan Diwal, where the route again turns to the right to head north, start the climb to the Hajigak Pass proper.
There are numerous villages in this sparsely populated, rugged area. The greenness of the trees and the clearness of the air in the valleys greet tourists who travel to Bamyan. In the fall and spring large camel caravans add their particular excitement to the scene; the major wildlife is lammergeier which are seen squatting in large groups beside the road. These large birds are known as Bearded Vultures for they have noticeable, rather comical goatees. Having a passion for bone marrow, they have been seen to carry animal bones to a height and drop them onto rocks to crack them so that they can feast upon the marrow with greedy delight. In May 2016, India and Afghanistan signed an agreement to develop two births at Port of Chabahar, build the new Chabahar-Zahedan railway as part of North–South Transport Corridor by linking it with Trans-Iranian Railway, invest up to INR 1 lakh crore in the Chabahar Special Economic zone by building gas and urea plant as well as other industries, this will be linked with Chabahar-Zaranj-Delaram-Hajigak railway: 900 km long Indian-Iranian project, would link future US$10 billion Indian iron-ore mining operations at Hajigak mining concession to Chabahar, Published: Feb 2015.
Unai Pass Shibar Pass Hajigak mining concession Kotal Hajigak
Badakhshan Province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the farthest northeastern part of the country between Tajikistan and northern Pakistan. It shares a 56.5-mile border with China. It is part of a broader historical Badakhshan region; the province contains 22 to 28 districts, over 1,200 villages, 904,700 people. Feyzabad serves as the provincial capital. Badakhshan is bordered by Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and Khatlon Province in Tajikistan to the north and east. In the east of the province a long spur called the Wakhan Corridor extends above northern Pakistan's Chitral and Northern Areas to a border with China; the province has a total area of 44,059 square kilometres, most of, occupied by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges. Badakhshan was a stopover on the ancient Silk Road trading path, China has shown great interest in the province after the fall of the Taliban, helping to reconstruct roads and infrastructure. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Badakhshan contains temperate grasslands and shrublands, as well as Gissaro-Alai open woodlands along the Pamir River.
Common plants found in these areas include pistachio, walnut, apple and sagebrush. Montane grasslands and shrublands are existent in the province, with the Hindu Kush alpine meadow in the high mountains in the northern and southwestern regions; the Wakhan corridor contains two montane grassland and shrubland regions: the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe and in the Pamir Mountains and Kuh-e Safed Khers in Darwaz region. South of Fayzabad the terrain becomes dominated by xeric shrublands. Common vegetation includes thorny bushes, zizyphus and Amygdatus. Paropamisus xeric woodlands can be found in central areas. Common vegetation includes almond, pistachio and sea-buckthorn; the area has a long history like the rest of Afghanistan, dating to its conquering by the Achaemenid Empire and beyond. Badakhshan etymologically derives from an official title; the suffix of the name, -ān, means the region belonged to someone with the title badaxš. The territory was ruled by the Uzbek Khanate of Bukhara between the early 16th century and the mid-18th century.
It was given to Ahmad Shah Durrani by Murad Beg of Bukhara after a treaty of friendship was reached in or about 1750 and became part of the Durrani Empire. It was ruled by the Durranis followed by the Barakzai dynasty, was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries, it remained peaceful for about 100 years until the 1980s Soviet–Afghan War at which point the Mujahideen began a rebellion against the central Afghan government. During the 1990s, much of the area was controlled by forces loyal to Burhanuddin Rabbani and Ahmad Shah Massoud, who were de facto the national government until 1996. Badakhshan was the only province that the Taliban did not conquer during their rule from 1996 to 2001. However, during the course of the wars a non-Taliban Islamic emirate was established in Badakhshan by Mawlawi Shariqi, paralleling the Islamic Revolutionary State of Afghanistan in neighboring Nuristan. Rabbani, a Badakhshan native, Massoud, were the last remnants of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance during the peak of Taliban control in 2001.
Badakhshan was thus one of the few provinces of the country that witnessed little insurgency in the Afghan wars - however during the 2010s Taliban insurgents managed to attack and take control of several districts in the province. On 26 October 2015, the 7.5 Mw Hindu Kush earthquake shook northern Afghanistan with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII. This earthquake destroyed 30,000 homes, left several hundred dead, more than 1,700 injured; the current Governor of the province is Shah Waliullah Adeeb. His predecessors were Baz Mohammad Ahmadi; the borders with neighboring Tajikistan and Pakistan are monitored by the Afghan Border Police. All law enforcement activities throughout the province are handled by the Afghan National Police. A provincial Police Chief is assigned to lead both the ANP and the ABP; the Police Chief represents the Ministry of the Interior in Kabul. The ANP is backed by the military, including the NATO-led forces. Fayzabad, the capital of Badakhshan province, sits on the Kokcha River and has an approximate population of 50,000.
The chief commercial and administrative center of northeast Afghanistan and the Pamir region, Fayzabad has rice and flour mills. Fayzabad Airport serves the province with regular direct flights to Kabul; the percentage of households with clean drinking water increased from 13% in 2005 to 21% in 2011. The percentage of births attended to by a skilled birth attendant increased from 1.5% in 2003 to 2% in 2011. The overall literacy rate fell from 31% in 2005 to 26% in 2011; the overall net enrolment rate increased from 46% in 2005 to 68% in 2011. Despite massive mineral reserves, Badakhshan is one of the most destitute areas in the world. Opium poppy growing is the only real source of income in the province and Badakhshan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, due to the complete lack of health infrastructure, inaccessible locations, bitter winters of the province. BORNA Institute of Higher Education being the first private university located on the bank of Kokcha river. Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Sar-e-Sang mines, located in the Kuran wa Munjan District of Badakhshan, for over 6,000 years.
The mines were the largest and most well-known source in ancient times. Most recent
International North–South Transport Corridor
The International North–South Transport Corridor is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship and road route for moving freight between India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Central Asia and Europe. The route involves moving freight from India, Iran and Russia via ship and road; the objective of the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Anzali, etc. Dry runs of two routes were conducted in 2014, the first was Mumbai to Baku via Bandar Abbas and the second was Mumbai to Astrakhan via Bandar Abbas and Bandar Anzali; the objective of the study was to address key bottlenecks. The results showed transport costs were reduced by "$2,500 per 15 tons of cargo". Other routes under consideration include via Turkmenistan; this will synchronize with the Ashgabat agreement, a Multimodal transport agreement signed by India, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, for creating an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
This route will be operationalised by mid-January 2018. The primary objective of the NSTC project is to reduce costs in terms of time and money over the traditional route being used. Analysts predict by having improved transport connectivity between Russia, Central Asia and India their respective bilateral trade volumes will increase. A study conducted by the'Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India www.fffai.org found the route is, "30% cheaper and 40% shorter than the current traditional route". Analysts predict the corridor is to increase trade connectivity between major cities such as Mumbai, Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Bandar Anzali etc. Russia and India signed the agreement for the NSTC project on the 16th of May 2002. All three countries are founding member states on the project. Other important member states include Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus with other states having varying levels of involvement. Azerbaijan is involved in the project building new train lines and roads to complete missing links in the NSTC.
Turkmenistan is not a formal member but is to have a road connectivity to the corridor. Prime Minister Modi during a state visit to Turkmenistan formally invited it to become a member state on the project, "I proposed that Turkmenistan becomes a member of the International North South Transport Corridor." The following are member states in the NSTC project: India, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Oman, Syria. Observer member - Bulgaria; the NSTC route through Azerbaijan allows India-Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia-Kazakhstan transport connectivity. Iran started construction work to complete the missing link of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara road and railway including the Rasht-Astara section, it involves construction of 369 km of bridges and railway line to link the southern sections to the northern ones. Once completed, 22 new tunnels and 15 bridges will have been added to the route. On January 7, 2017, it was announced that Rasht-Astara section of rail route was completed in 2016, the remaining construction of Qazvin to Rasht rail rote is 90% complete and will be completed within 2017, construction on the remaining Rasht-Astara section of road would start in 2017.
India and Iran have a long-standing agreement, signed in 2002, to develop Chabahar into full deep sea port. Bandar Abbas port handles 85% of Iran's seaborne trade and is congested. Whereas, Chabahar has high capacity with plans to expand it from its current capacity of 2.5 million to 12.5 million tons annually. Unlike Bandar Abbas, Chabahar has the ability to handle cargo ships bigger than 100,000 tons. Industry Analysts have highlighted there are long term plans to integrate Chabahar with the NSTC, "India is eyeing trade with Europe via Chabahar port and the International North-South Transport Corridor"; the Kazakhstan - Turkmenistan - Iran railway link and operationalized in 2014 known as North–South Transnational Corridor, is a 677 km long railway line connecting Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan with Iran and the Persian Gulf. It links Uzen in Kazakhstan with Bereket - Etrek in Turkmenistan and ends at Gorgan in Iran's Golestan province. In Iran, the railway will be linked to national network making its way to the ports of the Persian Gulf.
The project is estimated to cost $620m, being jointly funded by the governments of Kazakhstan and Iran. The project aims to create a multimodal transport system to provide seamless connectivity in the region for passenger travel as well; the North-South Transnational Corridor will run up to 137 km in Kazakhstan, 470 km in Turkmenistan and 70 km in Iran. Work in Turkmenistan commenced in Bereket in December 2007 and in Kazakhstan in July 2009. A 311 km section between Bereket and Uzen in Turkmenistan is being financed by the Asian Development Bank. A memorandum of understanding was signed between ADB and the Turkmenistan government in February 2010, for a $350m loan as a special fund for technical assistance; the project loan was for the installation of signalling and communication equipment on the ongoing railway line, procurement of equipment and maintenance facilities and for the management and supervision of construction. The project received a loan of $371.2m from the Islamic Development Bank in July 2010.
In May 2013, a Bereket – Uzen section