Turkmenistan backs Afghan reconciliation process
Deputy Chairman of Cabinet and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov, who called on President Ashraf Ghani at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, said his country backed the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, which he called a close friend of Turkmenistan.
A statement from the Presidential Palace quoted President Ghani as saying that he looked forward to a visit in near future by his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
Ghani added Afghanistan wanted continued cooperation with Turkmenistan and the same would be discussed with Berdimuhamedow in areas of electricity, Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Iran railroad project, Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Tajikistan railroad and other fundamental economic development projects.
In a reference to insecurity in northern Afghanistan that slows down implementation of big trans-regional projects, the Afghan leader said they had initiated some serious efforts at improving security across Afghanistan particularly in the country’s north.
Calling Turkmenistan and Afghanistan key economic partners, Ghani said it had been agreed among Afghanistan, India and Turkmenistan at this month’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summits in Ufa, Russia, that work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India natural gas pipeline (TAPI) project should be started in these three countries.
This, the president said, he wanted to finalise with Berdimuhamedow upon his visit to Afghanistan. He said the project once completed would turn western Herat province into a transit region and Afghanistan would find access to the Mediterranean sea.
The Turkmen delegation said the Afghanistan conflict had domestic, regional and international aspects and Turkmenistan supported President Ghani’s view that terrorists entered his country to destabilise the region.
The delegation said Turkmenistan had always insisted in international debates that the issues of terrorism and drugs were not confined to Afghanistan alone, but regional countries had to cooperate with Kabul in dealing with the twin menaces.
Afghan ministers of mines, public works, water and energy and head of the Administrative Affairs Department at the Presidential Palace were present at the meeting.
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