Tajikistan, Dushanbe, March 29 / Trend D. Mukhtarov /
Several media outlets' information about Kazakhstan's joining the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is premature, Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov told media today during the eleventh meeting of foreign ministers of the participating countries at the 'Asia Cooperation Dialogue' conference held in Dushanbe.
"During my recent visit to India where the project was discussed, some media outlets disseminated the information that Kazakhstan is ready to join the TAPI project and will lay the pipeline from India to Kazakhstan," he said. "This is incorrect."
He said the parties discussed the importance and usefulness of developing new forms of relations during the meetings in India and transportation routes between the two countries.
"We were unanimous insomuch it is necessary to unite India, South and Central Asia through different transport routes, including such a project as TAPI," he said, adding Kazakhstan supports the project.
"But the project must be implemented and the media is in a state of wishful thinking," Idrisov said.
The minister said the country adheres to a policy of diversifying its transportation routes to deliver hydrocarbons to the world markets.
"Our president has repeatedly said this," he said. "We will proceed from the principles of economic feasibility, financial transparency and political security."
The basic document for the promotion of the 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 through Afghanistan remains a serious obstacle, but Kabul said the country will ensure the safety of the route.
In May 2012, the Turkmen government has entered into an agreement for the sale of natural gas with India's GAIL Ltd. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Afghanistan.
The design capacity of TAPI is 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The estimated length reaches 1735 kilometres. It is expected the pipeline will extend from the largest gas field in Turkmenistan 'Galkhynysh' through the Afghan cities of Herat and Kandagar to the Fazilka settlement on the Pakistani-Indian border.