OSCE and Turkmenistan discuss situation in Afghanistan

OSCE and Turkmenistan discuss situation in Afghanistan

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Mar. 1 / Trend H. Hasanov /

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the Turkmen government said on Friday.

'We discussed the situation in the Central Asian region and in particular that of Afghanistan, receiving significant support and assistance from Turkmenistan over the years', the statement said.

Berdimuhamedov noted Turkmenistan's commitment to the chosen foreign policy course based on permanent neutrality.

"Turkmenistan has great potential and positive experience it could offer to other countries," Vollebaek said.

The two sides expressed confidence that cooperation between Turkmenistan and OSCE will consolidate joint efforts in order to ensure a prosperous and secure life on the planet.

Earlier this year the Turkmen capital hosted an international meeting to promote the development of Afghanistan with participation of neighbouring countries, international organisations and potential donors.

Ashgabat previously announced a number of initiatives for the socio-economic recovery of the neighbouring state which were positively assessed by the UN and OSCE.

In particular, work is underway to establish the Atamyrat-Imamnazar-Akin-Andkhoy (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan) railway. In addition the project allowing for a five-fold increase in the volume of export of Turkmen electricity to Afghanistan, which is now available on favourable terms in the annual volume of 325 million kilowatt hours, has been launched.
The largest project is the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Formation of an international consortium is in process.

Ashgabat believes that the laying of this pipeline in addition to purely economic problems, will solve a number of important social and humanitarian issues in the region, including those related to the creation of new jobs and building the infrastructure along the gas pipeline.

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