Ashgabat, Kabul committed to intensify economic co-op
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Oct. 18
By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:
A meeting between Turkmen officials and Ambassador of Afghanistan to Turkmenistan Najibullah Alikhil was held at the Turkmen Foreign Ministry, Trend reports on Oct. 18 referring to the ministry.
The parties expressed commitment to the development of political dialogue and the intensification of economic cooperation between the two neighboring countries. The views on topical issues in the development of relations in the political, economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres were also exchanged.
The Afghan side stressed Turkmenistan’s efforts aimed at peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan, as well as regular humanitarian assistance to the local population.
Turkmenistan has a long border with Afghanistan. A number of interregional projects, including the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, are connected with this country.
The Turkmen side is also lobbying for the implementation of a project to build a railway through Afghanistan to Tajikistan. The projects on the use of this route for the supply of Turkmen electricity and for laying a fiber-optic line to Pakistan are being implemented.
Moreover, the Turkmen side urges to intensify the discussions of various aspects of the construction of the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transport corridor within the international organizations.
According to the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey “Lapis Lazuli” transit project, railways and motorways will connect Torghundi city in the Afghan province of Herat with Ashgabat, then with the Caspian Sea port of Turkmenbashi. The corridor will continue to Baku, then through Tbilisi to Ankara with branches in Poti and Batumi, then from Ankara to Istanbul.
The project budget, designed to facilitate transit logistics and simplify customs procedures, is estimated at $2 billion. A large-scale project was designed with the aim of increasing the economic integration of the region and the volumes of trade.
Ashgabat has repeatedly voiced its readiness to provide political space for an inter-Afghan peace dialogue under the UN auspices.