Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Feb. 18 / Trend H. Hasanov /
Friendly relations between Turkmenistan and Pakistan, will develop and strengthen on the basis of a mutually beneficial partnership, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov.
"Our peoples are bound together by common historical ties, cultural and geographical proximity. We are very pleased to see the impressive pace of progress and development of Turkmenistan," Zardari said.
Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani sent a similar message.
"Pakistan and Turkmenistan have a cordial and friendly relationship. I am sure that this friendship will be further developed through the collective efforts of both sides," he said.
During a recent governmental meeting, Berdimuhammedov said that Ashgabat is interested in the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Its realization will serve for the welfare of peoples, countries participating in the project and the whole region.
According to the project, the length of the pipeline must be 1,680 km. Its capacity is 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The route is planned from the Turkmen field Dovletabad through Herat and Kandahar (Afghanistan), through the regions of Quetta (Pakistan) to the area Fazlaka on the Indian-Pakistani border.
An obstacle for the Trans-Afghani project is the ongoing military action in Afghanistan. Debates over this project have been held since the 1990s. Recently, the Asian Development Bank made efforts to move the project. Feasibility study was prepared by Penspen Company.
Paolo Scaroni, head of a leading Italian oil company Eni, spoke about the desire of companies to help with the transportation of gas from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Iran to Pakistan, India and China.