18 March 2019

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Leaders Break Ground On TAPI Gas Pipeline’s Afghan Section

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Saturday February 24, 2018

Kabul (BNA) Work on TAPI gas pipeline to transfer the natural gas of Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India through Afghanistan was inaugurated in the western Herat province amid tight security on Friday.
Ahead of inauguration of the work for TAPI project, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in his tweet said “A new chapter of economic growth and regional connectivity starts right here in the economic and cultural hub of Afghanistan. Among hundreds of guests attending the ceremony in Jalaluddin Mohammad Balkhi hall of Herat Province, were President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar. Addressing the opening ceremony in Herat, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani besides welcoming TAPI leaders, congratulated the day to all Afghans and the people of Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India
“Today Herat sends message of hope and rehabilitation to the region. This is not only gas project, but includes electricity, Fiber Optic and Railway,” the president told the gathering. The President went on saying that Afghans’ message was regional cooperation, adding people were committed to provide security for the project. The President called Herat as the crossroad of the Asia, saying the province would remain the crossroad and Herat’s doors reveals the broad communication of the province. Hinting to importance of big infrastructural projects, President Ghani said transmission of 500KV electricity from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan would connect two major economic zones (Herat and Kandahar) with each other.
“TAPI to bring peace and stability in the country and would create job opportunities as well as increases the country’s revenues,” the president noted.
“We don’t have enmity with any country. National interest is our priority and we want to be the focal point of regional cooperation,” the president added. Concluding his remarks, President Ghani thanked Turkmen counterpart’s efforts for implementation of the project. Meanwhile addressing his remarks, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow called TAPI a model for regional cooperation, adding the project would create international communications in term business and economy. “Such economic project to have positive impact on Afghanistan’s economic growth and will bring peace and stability in the country,” The Turkmen president added. He also assured his country’s cooperation with Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi congratulated inauguration of the project in Afghanistan, saying TAPI was a dream a century ago and is now being implemented and would change the situation in the region. “Afghanistan plays central role in the project. I would like to thank President Ghani’s commitment for the project. I believe the project to bolster ties among regional countries,” Pakistani prime minister said. Following India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Mubashir Jaweed Akbar said Cheshti and Naqshbandi dynasty had established the relation between Afghanistan and India.
He said TAPI would change people’s life in these countries, calling the project beginning of the economic growth and end of the poverty. He also called Afghanistan heart of the Asia and the country’s struggle against challenges as magic. At the end of the ceremony officials of the four countries visited Afghan Handicrafts’ exhibition and attended the reception hosted by President Ghani. Meanwhile Turghondi railway was also inaugurated during a ceremony attended by officials of the two countries. The 500 KV electricity line, railway and Fiber Optic to be also implemented along with TAPI project. TAPI project, according to officials, would transport 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Galkynysh gas reserve of Turkmenistan annually along an 1,800 km route to Fazilka near the border with Pakistan in northern India. Afghanistan would earn 500 million U.S. dollars as royalty each year from TAPI project, according to officials.

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