Turkmen officials due in Kabul for talks on ‘TAPI’

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The TAPI gas pipeline is planned to span 1,680 km and connect Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan with Pakistan and India….reports Asian Lite News

The Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan has said the delegates of Turkmenistan expect to visit Kabul on March 10 to discuss the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and India (TAPI) project which has reportedly been put on hold.

Shahabuddin Delawar, Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum, added that Afghanistan is fully prepared to implement the TAPI project, TOLOnews reported.

“There are no problems on the Afghanistan side, we will do our best to resume soon. Previously, there was a security problem but security is completely provided in Afghanistan now and TAPI partners know this,” he said.

A Pakistan news agency quoted a top Pakistani official of the Energy Ministry, saying that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has paused all due diligence and processing activities of TAPI until the official recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan by the UN and major global economies.

At a meeting between a Turkmenistan delegation and Pakistani officials on January 31, 2022, the Turkmen side disclosed that ADB had reduced its interest in the project due to the global lack of recognition of the Taliban regime.

Shahabuddin Delawar, Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum,(twitter))

However, Afghan economists believe the project is facing delays due to regional rivalry between India and Pakistan.

“Rivalry between India and Pakistan and rivalry between Turkmenistan, Iran and Qatar, as well as the internal political problems in Afghanistan, all caused the TAPI to be paused,” said Sayed Massoud, a university professor.

The TAPI gas pipeline is planned to span 1,680 km and connect Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan with Pakistan and India.

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