Afghanistan discusses TAPI Project with Turkmenistan

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The two sides also discussed issues related to a number of Afghan-Turkmen joint projects, fibre optic and railway projects…reports Asian Lite News

Taliban Prime Minister Mullah Hassan Akhund met with visiting Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov on Saturday, during which they discussed the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project in Afghanistan’s terrain.

The two sides also discussed issues related to a number of Afghan-Turkmen joint projects, fibre optic and railway projects, according to the statement by the General Directorate for Administrative Affairs of the President Office.

The key regional project is expected to transit gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, with Afghanistan getting about 500 million US dollars a year as royalty and thousands of Afghans are expected to find work from the project.

The TAPI project is supported by the United States and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It proposed to lay a 56-inch diameter and 1,680-kilometre pipeline with a capacity of transporting 33 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Fazilka near the India-Pakistan border.

The long-lasting war and insecurity had caused a delay in the inauguration of the TAPI project which was expected to be completed in 2020. The Afghan and Turkmen sides have resumed talks on the topic with prevailing security

The ADB is acting as the facilitator and coordinator for the project.

According to the statement, Meredov said that Turkmenistan was ready to provide humanitarian aid to Afghans and help them in the implementation of economic projects.

“Implementation of the joint projects would be helpful for the people of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and would enhance the regional cooperation,” he was quoted in the statement as saying.

Int’l recognition still nowhere near

The Taliban on Friday reiterated that it had completed all conditions for recognition by the international community, local media reported.

According to Tolo News, the Russian foreign ministry’s spokesperson recently said that the “Taliban” should fulfil the expectations of the international community for recognition.

“The Islamic Emirate expects the regional and world countries to engage with the Afghans and recognise the current government under the leadership of the Islamic Emirate,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate.

“Therefore, the Islamic Emirate would be able to responsibly engage in (resolving) the problems and challenges with the world,” Karimi added.

“The Taliban should fulfil the expectation of the international community for the formation of an inclusive government based on ethnicity, countering the terrorism and freedom of citizens,” Tolo News quoted Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Russian Federations’ foreign ministry as saying.

To resolve the ongoing challenges, political experts said that Afghanistan needs to be recognised by the world, Tolo News reported.

“(The people) pay for the price of the non-recognition of the Afghan government. Inclusivity and participatory government is the wish of all Afghans,” said Fazal Hadi Wazin, a university instructor. “If a government is not inclusive, it will be deprived of the support of the people.”

“(They) use recognition and impose conditions as pressure,” said Aziz Miraj, a former diplomat.

It has been over two months when the Taliban captured Kabul after an aggressive and rapid advance against Afghanistan government forces after US military drawdown. Meanwhile, Russia, the United States, Japan, Canada, France, UK have expressed that they are not planning to recognise the government formed by the Taliban. (ANI)

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