More than 100 vehicles queuing at Bilasuvar checkpoint to cross from Azerbaijan to Iran

More than 100 vehicles queuing at Bilasuvar checkpoint to cross from Azerbaijan to Iran
# 19 November 2013 09:17 (UTC +04:00)

APA’s south bureau reports that the new rules applied by Iran on November 17 have caused a long queue of the vehicles owned by Azerbaijan.

According to these rules, the weight of vehicles along with cargos should not be higher than 30 tonnes. The vehicles that don’t comply with these rules are not allowed passing Bilasuvar checkpoint. Drivers, who are carrying cargos to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, told APA’s local correspondent that to carry small cargo is not profitable for them. At present, more than 100 trucks are standing in a queue at Bilasuvar checkpoint. A number of drivers have already left their vehicles on the border and returned to Nakhchivan.

The same situation is currently being observed in Julfa border checkpoint. According to information, trucks are standing in 2 km long queue there.

Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohsen Pak Ayeen told APA that restriction on crossing of trucks with more than 30 tonnes of weight from Azerbaijan to Iran is due to obsolete bridge over the Aras River in Julfa. He said that this restriction has nothing to do with the problems previously occurred at Bilasuvar and Julfa checkpoints: “The restriction is only applied to trucks crossing Julfa checkpoint not Bilasuvar checkpoint. Iranian trucks should also comply with this rule.”

The Ambassador noted that Azerbaijani officials and customs authorities have already been informed about the issue: “We are conducting negotiations with Azerbaijan on the opening of a new bridge. We hope that this bridge will be opened soon and restrictions on tonnage of vehicles will be eliminated.”

On November 8, the Embassy of Iran in Azerbaijan issued a statement on the closure of Bilasuvar and Julfa checkpoints. The statement issued on the behalf of the embassy spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ayatollahi said that this step has been taken due to the closure of Poldasht-Shahtakhti checkpoint by Azerbaijani frontier guards on November 6.

Seyed Mohammad Ayatollahi said as the checkpoint was not opened, Iran closed Bilasuvar and Julfa checkpoints after waiting for two days and informing the Azerbaijani side beforehand.

Bilasuvar checkpoint was opened on November 15.