TAPI gas pipeline project to resume in Afghanistan: report

PTI, Nov 1, 2021, 1:02 PM IST

Representative image (Credit: ANI)

Islamabad: The implementation of the USD 10 billion trans-national Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will start soon, the Taliban government in Afghanistan said on Sunday.

The announcement came during the visit of Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov to Kabul where he held talks with counterpart acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

The two sides covered various economic and political issues in the talks, followed by a joint press conference by the two foreign ministers, according to Afghanistan’s Tolo News.

Muttaqi said they talked about the TAPI gas pipeline project, and decided that the implementation of the project in Afghanistan will start soon.

“Important issues such as TAPI, railroads, and electricity were discussed. We discussed how to strengthen the projects that had already started. Also, the projects that were started by Turkmenistan, such as TAPI–its practical implementation will start soon in Afghanistan,” he said.

He said that the Turkmenistan foreign minister also invited him to visit the Central Asian country.

The TAPI project launched in 2016 is a key transnational scheme aimed to carry 33 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas each year from Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The pipeline is about 1,800 km long and starts from Galkynysh, the world’s second-biggest gas field, and terminates at the Indian city of Fazilka.

At least 816 kilometers of the pipeline passes through Afghanistan and though the work on it in Afghanistan started in February 2018, but it was delayed due to the fighting between the then Afghanistan government and the Taliban.

After the Taliban established their control over the country following the takeover of Kabul on August 15, chances for the TAPI project have brightened up.

The trip by the Turkmenistan foreign minister to Kabul is one of the very few visits by foreign dignitaries to Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power in the country.

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