ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has underscored the need for the early completion of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.
He expressed these views during a telephonic conversation with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The president said the mega-project would go a long way in further strengthening bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
The two leaders exchanged views on Pakistan-Turkmenistan bilateral relations, implementation of TAPI Gas Pipeline Project and TAP Power Transmission lines.
They expressed satisfaction over the existing relationship and emphasised on the need to further strengthen and diversify trade, economic and energy cooperation between the two countries.
Underlining the significance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the president said the project would boost regional connectivity and regional country particularly Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics would tremendously benefit from its road and railway infrastructure.
President Alvi also highlighted the importance of Gwadar seaport which offered shortest route to Turkmenistan. He suggested early finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding on sister port relationship between the ports of Gwadar and Turkmenbashi.
On the occasion, Presiden Berdimuhamedov proposed online meetings of existing institutional mechanisms between the two countries.
Turkmenistan has announced to start building a gas pipeline from the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan border to Herat in Afghanistan and also assured Pakistan of addressing its concerns over different issues pertaining to the gas pipeline project.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar led a team that held discussions with a Turkmenistan delegation headed by TAPI Pipeline Company Limited CEO Muhammetmyrat Amanov on the project.
Both sides reviewed progress on the project and expressed satisfaction with the developments made so far by TAPI Pipeline Company despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak. The Turkmen delegation said the commencement of construction work in Afghanistan will immensely boost the confidence of international investors.
Pakistan is interested in rebuilding a standard gas infrastructure in Afghanistan and is extending full support at every level to commence such development activities.
The Pakistani side expressed readiness to finalise all the matters in order to press ahead with construction work. The two sides also agreed to finalise the Host Government Agreement by the end of this year.
Pakistani officials informed the Turkmen team that they would like to hold the TAPI project groundbreaking in Pakistan at the earliest after the finalisation of all issues under discussion.
Turkmenistan appreciated the support given by Pakistani authorities for achieving the targets and fast progress on the implementation of the project to meet growing energy needs.