UN to discuss Afghanistan's stability and development in Ashgabat
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, June 6 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Ashgabat will host a meeting on strengthening the stability and sustainable development in Afghanistan within the UN special program for Central Asia (SPECA) this month, an official Turkmen source said.
Turkmenistan was elected the SPECA chairman in October last year.
This program is implemented under the aegis of the regional economic commissions of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Afghanistan needs to rebuild its social and economic infrastructure, said the UN Deputy Secretary-General Helen Clark, who visited Ashgabat in early May.
At a meeting with the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov, she stressed that "Turkmenistan is taking concrete steps in this direction, by providing active assistance in a peaceful development and restoration of the socio-economic infrastructure of neighboring Afghanistan, which in turn has a positive effect on the regional situation as a whole".
Turkmenistan, which maintains a status of positive neutrality, has a major border with Afghanistan and has recently proposed to hold inter-Afghan peace talks in Ashgabat under the UN aegis.
Ashgabat provides humanitarian assistance to the neighboring state and builds facilities for social infrastructure, electricity, and fuel supply, which are provided on preferential terms.
A large-scale project to lay a gas pipeline to India and Pakistan for Turkmen gas supplies is associated with Afghanistan's territory, where the unstable situation has remained for a long period of time.
Experts believe that implementation of this project can contribute to the recovery of Afghanistan, as it will allow for the creation of jobs and provide the country with a guaranteed income for transit.