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Turkmen officials support Taliban’s TAPI gas pipeline in Afghanistan, Reuters


Reuters. File photo: Workers stand by a gas pipe during the opening ceremony of the TAPI project on the Afghan side of a natural gas pipeline that will connect Turkmenistan with Pakistan and India through Afghanistan near the town of Serhet.

KABUL (Reuters) – Turkmen officials will travel to Kabul this week to discuss continuing work on the TAPI pipeline, which will connect the powerful Central Asian country with Pakistan and India through Afghanistan, the Taliban government said on Wednesday.

The pipeline is expected to carry 33 billion cubic meters (BCM) per year along a 1,800-kilometer (1,125-mile) stretch of road from the world’s second largest gas field, Galkinesh, to the Indian city of Fazilka near the Pakistan border.

“We have been working hard for some time and we are ready to take pride in starting work on the TAPI project,” Mohammad Isa Akhund, the new Taliban government’s Minister of Mines and Petroleum, said in a statement.

The pipeline will run from the northwestern border of Afghan-extended Turkmenistan through the western city of Herat in the south to Kandahar near the Pakistan border.

Akhund met with Turkmenistan’s ambassador on Saturday ahead of a two-day visit by a delegation from the country, the statement said.

The project was launched in Afghanistan in 2018, when the Taliban was fighting a Western-backed government in Kabul, but it pledged its cooperation for a project that is recognized as an important future component of its economic infrastructure.

Afghanistan, which is suffering from a chronic energy shortage, is expected to take 5% of the gas itself, with the rest being shared equally between Pakistan and India. In addition, Kabul should earn millions of dollars in transit fees.

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