Abbasi to embark two-country visit today

Islamabad: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will leave for Turkmenistan and Afghanis­tan on Thursday to attend the groundbreaking ceremonies of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project in the two countries. The pipeline will transport natural gas from Glkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to India.

The prime minster was officially invited by the presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan for attending the groundbreaking ceremonies of the gas pipeline project.  Mr Abbasi will first visit Turkmenistan and then proceed to Afghanistan during the two-day visit.

A spokesman said Mr Abbasi would be on a two-day official visit from Feb 22 to 23 on the invitation of the presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. The prime minister will be accompanied by Minister of State for Energy Jam Kamal Khan during the visit.

The groundbreaking ceremonies will also be attended by Turkmen President Gurban­guly Malikgulyevich Berdimu­hamedov, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Minister of State for External Affairs of India M. J. Akbar. The first leg of the ceremony will be held in Serhetabat, Turkmenistan.

During his stay in Turkmenistan, the prime minister will hold a meeting with the Turkmen president and attend an exhibition showcasing cultural performances and artistic pieces from the four countries, including Pakistan, followed by a link-up ceremony where he will make a statement, along with the leaders of three other states.

Mr Abbasi will then proceed to Herat, Afghanistan, the same day to attend the Afghan leg of the groundbreaking ceremony. In Afghanistan, the prime minister will also hold a meeting with the Afghan president.

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