Turkmen FM discusses prospects for co-op in Kabul, Delhi

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Feb. 3

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov has paid a visit to Afghanistan and India, Trend reports Feb. 3 with reference to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.

The Turkmen delegation was received by Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

During the meeting, issues related to intensification of political and diplomatic interaction, expansion of economic cooperation, development of cultural and humanitarian ties between the two countries were discussed, the report said.

The parties paid attention to the implementation of regional large-scale and long-term infrastructure projects.

Among them, a special place is held by the projects for the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, power and fiber-optic lines along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route, and railways from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.

Kabul also hosted meetings with the leaders of the executive branch, ministries of national security, foreign affairs and a number of other state bodies of Afghanistan.

During a visit to New Delhi, a working meeting was held with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

An exchange of views took place on the prospects of Turkmen-Indian relations, regional and international topics of mutual interest were discussed.

Transport is considered one of the topical areas of business partnership. The possibilities of the North-South transnational corridor project are being explored, using the potential of the seaports of the two countries.

Ashgabat and Delhi are also discussing interaction opportunities in the chemical and electric power industries. A special role is assigned to the construction project of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline with capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

The construction of the Turkmen section of TAPI was launched on December 13, 2015, while the construction of the Afghan section commenced in February 2018. Pakistan plans to start the work on its pipeline section this year.

The energy bridge will then pass through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar (816 kilometers), through the cities of Quetta and Multan across Pakistani territory (819 kilometers), and reach the settlement of Fazilka in India.

The leader of TAPI Pipeline Company Ltd is Turkmengas, which has the controlling stake and acts as the main financier and project manager. The consortium also includes the Afghan Gas Corporation, Pakistan’s Inter State Gas Systems (Private) Limited and Indian GAIL.

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