Turkmenistan and Afghanistan signed a package of important joint documents on Wednesday, September 30. These apply to the implementation of projects for the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and power transmission lines and the laying of a fiber-optic cable along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) route.
The signing ceremony was held via a video bridge between Ashgabat and Kabul with the participation of Afghan leader Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, representatives of the Government and relevant departments of the two countries, and international companies engaged in these projects.
Vice-Premier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov conveyed greetings from President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the head of Afghanistan and stressed the importance of the practical implementation of the TAPI and TAP projects.
“By signing these documents, we are taking a very important step torwards the future natural gas and electricity supplies from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, as well as through Afghanistan to the states of South Asia. Along with this, great opportunities are opening up for expanding the international communications network connecting the Asia-Pacific region to Europe”, Meredov said.
In this context, the fiber-optic line and railways under construction connecting Turkmenistan to Afghanistan will have a key role to play, the minister emphasized, adding that the completion of such large-scale and long-term projects will be of great geo-economic and geopolitical importance on the Eurasian continent.
Ashraf Ghani expressed appreciation to the Turkmen leader for his active support provided to Afghanistan, and the promotion of energy and transport initiatives, the implementation of which contributes to the restoration of Afghanistan and its integration into the economy of the region and the continent.
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Concern Turkmengaz, TAPI Pipeline Limited and Afgan Gaz Enterprise for the establishment and development of a natural gas market in Afghanistan.
The Memorandum of Cooperation was signed by the Turkmenaragatnashyk Agency and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Afghanistan. The state-owned enterprise Turkmentelecom and the Communications Company Afghan Wireless signed an Agreement for connecting fiber-optic cables at the border sites Serhetabat-Tourghundi and Imamnazar-Akina in order to adjust international transit traffic. An agreement was also concluded for the purchase of electricity in Afghanistan as part of the TAP project.