Turkmenistan, Afghanistan sign energy, transport deals

Turkmenistan and Afghanistan signed agreements on energy, transport and culture Monday, days after agreeing with Pakistan and India to push forward a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline.

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan sign energy, transport deals
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai watched their ministers sign the deals and then inked their own on cementing bilateral ties.

The agreements signed in Kabul Monday pave the way for Turkmen help in providing power-poor Afghanistan with fuel and energy and cooperation in the areas of transport and culture.

Karzai said he and Berdymukhamedov discussed the extension of a Turkmen railway line through Afghanistan as well as the gas pipeline.

The four nations involved in the gas project signed in Islamabad last week an accord to take forward years-old plans to build the pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, an official said.

It envisages that work will start in 2010 and be completed five years later, mines ministry spokesman Kohzman Ulumi said.

If implemented, the project would bring cash-strapped Afghanistan more than 200 million dollars in annual revenue as well as the right to consume up to 500 billion cubic metres of gas from the pipeline, he said.

The war-torn country would also be able to use the pipeline to export any of its own gas it may be able to tap in the future, Ulumi said.

"It's a very major project. Afghanistan will benefit from it significantly."

The pipeline is expected to travel from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan's western province of Herat and the southern province of Kandahar -- one of the Taliban-controlled regions here -- and on into Pakistan.

Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2008, 10:56
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