Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, March 20
By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:
While meeting with Chairman of the Afghan High Peace Council Salahuddin Rabbani, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov confirmed that he will support the international efforts aimed at economic recovery and prosperity in Afghanistan, Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary news agency reported on March 19.
"The president confirmed that Turkmenistan is firmly following its foreign policy based on the principles of peace, positive neutrality and broad partnership," according to the statement. "It intends to continue fully supporting the international efforts aimed at economic recovery and prosperity of Afghanistan and ensuring decent life of people."
Earlier, Turkmenistan was among the initiators of the peaceful settlement of the Afghan internal conflict. It assists its southern neighbor by supplying electricity on favorable terms, constructing industrial and social facilities and delivering humanitarian goods.
"The large-scale regional projects implemented in the fuel-energy and transport sectors and initiated by the Turkmen side is an important step towards strengthening the foundations of peaceful life in Afghanistan," according to the statement.
The matter rests in the construction of the Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan- India (TAPI ) gas pipeline. While meeting with Rabbani, the Turkmen president expressed confidence that this project will be a worthy contribution to the dynamic development of Afghanistan and all regional countries.
Rabbani stressed that the Turkmen leader's constructive approaches of solving the Afghan problems, reflected in the relevant international initiatives will certainly serve the cause of peace and stability in his homeland.
A basic document for TAPI is the member-states' interstate agreement on launching the practical implementation of this project signed in Ashgabat in 2010. The main obstacle is instability in Afghanistan, but Kabul claims that it will be able to ensure the safety of the route.
Afghanistan will be able to meet its gas needs for 30 years due to a natural gas purchase-sale contract signed between the two countries in summer 2013, according to the Afghan side.
Afghanistan will annually purchase up to 500 million cubic meters of Turkmen gas, bring it up to one billion cubic meters in accordance with the contract for the first 10 years after commissioning the TAPI.
Translated by NH
Edited by CN