Turkmenistan, Iran start business negotiations

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, May 12

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

On May 12-13, the government delegation of Turkmenistan will hold meetings in Iran with a number of relevant ministries, during which priority issues of cooperation will be discussed, the 'Neutral Turkmenistan' newspaper reported May 12.

"Appropriate work is being carried out on the practical implementation of bilateral agreements reached at the highest level," Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary State Agency commented.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, during his official visit to Ashgabat (March 27-28), said that the two neighboring countries should make every effort to use the potential of swap supplies of Turkmen gas through Iran.

"We must develop swap agreements," the Iranian leader said in his address to the media after talks with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Iran can also provide transit for electricity supplies to third countries. In addition, Turkmenistan and Iran, as noted by Hassan Rouhani, need to discuss in detail the issues of cooperation in the oil and gas industry to make final decisions on this issue.

Iran receives Turkmen gas through several pipeline branches, and the main one is the Korpeje-Kurt-Kui gas pipeline, which was put into operation in December 1995. In 2010, an additional pipeline was launched along the route Dovletabad-Sarahs-Hangeran.

However, Turkmenistan was forced to limit the supply of Turkmen natural gas to Iran because of debts from January 1, 2017.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan said that since 2013, the National Gas Company of Iran, has not made the necessary efforts to repay its debt for previously supplied Turkmen natural gas.

According to the Iranian TV channel PressTV, Ashgabat at that time demanded that Tehran pay the debt for supplies in 2007-2008 in the amount of $1.8 billion. Iran is the third largest foreign trade partner of Turkmenistan.

The main export products of Turkmenistan are natural gas, by the volume of purchases of which Iranian partners concede only to China. Turkmenistan supplies Iran with oil products, electricity and textiles.

Vegetables, fruits, building materials, articles of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, ceramics, and vehicles come to the Turkmen market from Iran.

The strengthening of cooperation with Iran can contribute to the expansion of Turkmenistan's exports to many other countries through the terminals of the Persian Gulf, as well as through pipeline, railway infrastructure and power lines. It should be noted that Turkmenistan and Iran border on the Caspian Sea and have a long land border. Over the years, a number of major economic projects have been implemented. In addition to gas pipelines, the two states built the Dostluk (Friendship) border dam and completed the North-South railway project on the basis of a trilateral agreement signed in 2007 with the participation of Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.

The two countries are interested in intensifying joint activities in the transport and transit sector and road construction.

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