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Turkmenistan's Ambassador, Pakistani FM Discuss Joint Energy Projects

By Aygerim Sarymbetova September 8, 2023

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Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan, Atajan Movlamov, met with the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan, Jalil Abbas Jilani in Islamabad on September 5, 2023. / Orient.tm

Turkmen Ambassador to Pakistan, Atajan Movlamov, and acting Pakistani Foreign Minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, has met to discuss the implementation of joint energy projects.

During their meeting in Islamabad, they touched upon the current state of bilateral relations and the progress of significant joint energy initiatives. Both sides expressed their readiness to enhance ties across various areas of mutual interest, as reported by the Turkmen news website Orient.tm on September 5.

The Pakistani minister lauded Turkmenistan’s foreign policy and emphasized the significance of gas pipeline projects connecting the two nations with neighboring countries like Afghanistan and India for Pakistan’s energy needs. He also underscored the importance of collaborative ventures such as TAPI (Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India) and TAP (Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan) for Pakistan.

Earlier, on June 8, Turkmenistan and Pakistan inked a joint plan in Islamabad to expedite the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline.

During a meeting with a Turkmen delegation, led by Minister of State and Chairman of the state gas company Turkmengaz, Maksat Babayev, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed the Pakistani government’s commitment to hastening the completion of the TAPI gas pipeline and TAP power transmission line projects, which are pivotal in meeting the country’s energy requirements.

At the ceremony, the prime minister described TAPI as a “highly significant project” for regional prosperity and envisioned it ushering in a new era of regional cooperation. Sharif also pledged that every effort would be made to accelerate the implementation of TAPI.

In late April, Turkmenistan initiated the export of liquefied gas to Pakistan through Afghanistan’s Kandahar for the first time. Initially, 50 gas tankers were transported from Turkmenistan.

Mohammad Yunus Mohmand, the head of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment, noted that gas had previously been transported to Pakistan through Iran. According to him, “with the resumption of power by the Islamic Emirate,” the country has emerged as a safe transit route, facilitating substantial exports in this direction.

Yasser Basir, an international firm, commenced the export of natural gas, involving 50 gas tankers, each carrying 30 tons of gas, from Turkmenistan to Kandahar. Subsequently, the gas was sent to Pakistan through the Spin Boldak land port. While the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project remains stalled, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce has confirmed the successful export of Turkmen gas from Afghanistan to Pakistan via trucks.

Once completed, the TAPI pipeline aims to connect Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and India via Afghanistan. Spanning 1,830 kilometers, the project is expected to annually deliver 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Galkynysh, the world’s second-largest gas field, to the Indian city of Fazilka, near the Pakistan border.

The Afghan segment of the pipeline will traverse from the northwest border with Turkmenistan southward through the western city of Herat and on to Kandahar, near the Pakistan border. Despite its inception in Afghanistan in 2018 while the Taliban was in conflict with the Western-backed government in Kabul, the Taliban administration has pledged its support for the project, considering it a vital component of the nation’s future economic infrastructure.