Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Dec. 7 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Turkmenistan is helping Afghanistan to integrate into the global system of economic relations by developing its transport and communications infrastructure, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said.
"We are talking about large-scale projects, creating favorable socioeconomic development conditions for partner countries and strengthening regional cooperation," the ministry said.
The ministry added that Turkmenistan plans to construct a new railway on its territory along the border with Afghanistan. The railway could be further extended into Afghanistan to facilitate the country's regional and interregional cooperation.
The two-kilometer "Serhetabat-Turgundi" railway line has operated for three years. The line was reconstructed by Turkmen specialists.
Turkmenistan has also made a proposal to build the "Atamurat-Imamnazar-Andkhoy" railway route, with a further extension through Afghanistan. The abovementioned infrastructure will increase the amount of available trans-border cargo flow and goods transport.
The minsitry added that the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline also has "tremendous significance."
Implementing TAPI will have a positive influence on Afghanistan's stability and prosperity, the ministry said. It will increase gas volumes and diversify export routes for Turkmen energy resources. The pipeline will also give a tremendous boost to developing trade and economic relations and become the basis for creating tens of thousands of new jobs in Afghanistan.
According to some preliminary calculations, Afghanistan could receive several hundred million dollars per year for transiting Turkmen natural gas. Additionally, the construction of the pipeline could create up to 12,000 jobs in the country.
Creating the pipeline's infrastructure will help to draw major investments, the ministry said. This will eventually lead to stability, security and economic growth on a regional scale.
Official Ashgabat also proposed increasing energy supplies to Afghanistan and expanding the country's energy infrastructure. In this context, Turkmenistan is expanding the network of power lines in the direction of Afghanistan by building the necessary facilities on its territory.
Using its own resources, Turkmenistan provided Afghanistan's northern regions with electricity. Additional power lines have been laid.
The 70-kilometer Andkhoy-Shebergan transmission line was also put into operation.
The residents of the Mazari-Sharif and Balkh provinces have been provided with electricity generated by the Turkmen Mary Power Station.
The ministry noted that Afghan consumers also have access to preferential prices on Turkmen goods. The country also periodically provides royalty-free electricity supplies.
Besides electricity, a number of border settlements are able to receive Turkmen natural gas in a liquefied form. Supplies have increased. They are in demand throughout Afghanistan.
"Restoring peace in Afghanistan is a key factor for the whole system of security and stable development not only in Central Asia but on the global scale," the ministry said.