ISSUES RELATED TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF MAJOR ENERGY AND TRANSPORT PROJECTS WITH PARTICIPATION OF TURKMENISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN DISCUSSED DURING THE BILATERAL CONSULTATIONS

During the period of 5-6 June 2021, a high-level Turkmen delegation headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov was on a working visit to Afghanistan.     

On the first day of the visit that is on June 5, the extended consultations of Turkmen and Afghan delegations led by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Rashid Meredov and Mohammad Haneef Atmar were held.  The delegations were composed of advisers on economic affairs, the leadership of the energy and transport sectors of the two countries, as well as the heads of national financial institutions and international holding companies that are involved in the implementation of joint projects.  

The first session of the consultations was aimed at the implementation of the construction of the gas pipeline “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India” (TAPI).  In particular, the issues related to the completion of the Turkmen segment of TAPI were discussed, including the launch of the construction of the gas pipeline from the Turkmen-Afghan border until the city of Herat in the second part of the year in the framework of the so-called “Herat Strategy”.  The practical matters of implementing the new stages of the project, including the logistical, technical, and financial aspects were considered.        

In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov underlined the importance of the TAPI project from the geopolitical and geo-economic perspectives.  It was stated that the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline stands as one of the most significant energy projects on the Eurasian continent.    

The representative of the State Concern "Turkmengaz" in the Board of Directors of the Open Joint Stock Company "TAPI Pipeline Company Limited" M. Amanov made a detailed presentation during the consultations.

Then the session on the construction of a high voltage power transmission line along the “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan” route was held.  The successful commissioning of the power transmission line along the Kerki (Turkmenistan) – Sheberghan (Afghanistan) route in participation of the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in January of the current year was emphasized.  Today, the electricity from Turkmenistan is transmitted to the city of Mazar-e Sharif through this line.  In this respect, the parties discussed further opportunities for increasing the supply of electricity from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.      

The parties heard the speeches of the participants of the delegations of two countries on the advancement of the “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan” power project. In particular, the Minister of Energy of Turkmenistan Ch. Purchekov made a presentation.

Also, a session was held on the further development of cooperation in the area of expanding the network of railway lines in the participation of two countries that is expected to make a favorable effect on the economic integration in the region in general. 

The cooperation in this vector has concrete results.  The successful launch of the Kerki-Imamnazar railway in participation of the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan in 2016 was underlined.  In the beginning of the current year, the inauguration of the 30-kilometer railway section between the Aqina-Andkhoy stations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan took place.  

Currently, talks continue on the feasibility of the construction project of the railway segment “Turghundi-Herat”. 

During the consultations, the discussions on unfolding the potential of the international transport corridor “Lapis-Lazuli” were held.  In this respect, the readiness of the Turkmen side to cooperate with the partner countries on the creation and promotion of joint mechanism on the optimization of the functionality of the given corridor was stated.  

The given consultations presented an opportunity for the participants to discuss face-to-face a number of issues of Turkmen-Afghan collaboration on a wide range, including such fields as waters resources management, expansion of ties in the area of industry, construction, and others.  

On the outcome of the consultations, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries confirmed the efficiency of the talks held.