President: Turkmenistan will help rebuild infrastructure of Afghanistan
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, March 28 / Trend H.Hasanov /
Turkmenistan will continue to support the reconstruction of social and economic infrastructure of its southern neighbour - Afghanistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said at a working meeting, the Turkmen government reported on Wednesday.
"Turkmenistan, strictly follows the course of peacekeeping, openness and wide international co-operation and will continue to develop effective cooperation with its closest neighbours to promote stability and harmony in the land of Afghanistan, including providing direct support in the reconstruction of socio-economic infrastructure," the Turkmen leader is quoted as saying.
Berdimuhamedov noted that by paying special attention to the development of bilateral relations with a friendly neighbouring country, Turkmenistan has been actively involved in international efforts to resolve the situation in Afghanistan.
"Our country is committed to the age old traditions of friendship and neighbourliness of the Turkmen people and wants to see Afghanistan as a peaceful and prosperous country," said the President.
Turkmenistan has a long border with Afghanistan and has recently proposed to hold Ashgabat inter-Afghan peace talks under the auspices of the UN.
Ashgabat has been providing humanitarian assistance to the neighbouring country, building social infrastructure there, supplying electricity and fuel on preferential terms. Turkmenistan started implementation of a large scale project which will increase the export of electricity to Afghanistan by five times. The current export capacity in this area is about 325 million kilowatt-hours per year.
A large scale project for laying a gas pipeline to India and Pakistan for the supply of Turkmen gas is also associated with Afghanistan where for many years an unstable situation remained.
Observers believe that the implementation of this project may contribute to the reconstruction of Afghanistan because it will create jobs and provide the country with a guaranteed income for transit.