Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Sept. 17 Trend H. Hasanov /
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has received national representative of the Indian Congress's party Mohammad Afzal, the Turkmen government said today.
According to the report, Afzal is also a trustee of the Indo-Turkmenistan Friendship Society.
Delhi's high-ranking representative conveyed greetings from the top leadership of India and leader of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi. It was stressed that the two countries are strategic partners in the implementation of important regional projects, in particular the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.
Afzal stressed during the meeting that he is genuinely happy that an agreement on the implementation of this important project was signed during his activity in Turkmenistan as Indian extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador.
The basic document for the promotion of TAPI project is the Ashgabat interstate agreement of the state parties on the commencement of the practical implementation of the TAPI project signed in late 2010. The instability in transit Afghanistan remains a serious obstacle, but Kabul said the country will ensure the safety of the route.
In May 2012, the Turkmen government entered into an agreement for the sale of natural gas with India's GAIL Ltd. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Afghanistan.
Negotiations are currently underway on the formation of the consortium and the financial package. The Turkmen side conducted several international road shows for TAPI in September 2012 with the participation of the Asian Development Bank.
The design capacity of TAPI is 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The estimated length is 1,735 kilometres. It is expected that the pipeline will extend from the largest gas field in Turkmenistan, Galkhynysh, through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandahar to the Fazilka settlement on the Pakistani-Indian border.
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