Acting foreign minister of Islamic Emirate says his government has agreed to implement the portion of the transnational project passing through its soil
Acting Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Amir Khan Muttaqi, on Sunday announced that work on the $10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will start “soon.”
Addressing a joint press conference with Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, he said that both sides had discussed various economic and political issues over the past two days. Among the issues discussed, he stressed, was important projects such as TAPI, railroads and electricity.
“We discussed how to strengthen the projects that had already started,” he said. “Also, the projects that were started by Turkmenistan, such as TAPI—its practical implementation will start soon in Afghanistan,” he emphasized.
Muttaqi said Meredov had also invited him to visit Turkmenistan at his earliest convenience.
According to Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the visiting Turkmen official and his delegation also met Deputy P.M. Abdul Salam Hanafi during their official tour. He said they had discussed various economic issues—especially the TAPI project—and made important decisions.
Launched in 2016, TAPI is a transnational project aimed at transporting 35 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Turkmenistan to India annually, via Pakistan and Afghanistan. The proposed pipeline spans 1,800km and starts from Galkynysh, Turkmenistan—the world’s second biggest gas field—and culminates at Fazilka, India.
Approximately 816km of the pipeline passes through Afghanistan, which had commenced work on it in 2018 but had to suspend it due to fighting between the West-backed Afghan government and the Taliban. Following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August, authorities believe the project is once more viable.