Pakistan and Turkmenistan Agree to Enhance Bilateral Relations

Ashgabat: The President of Turkmenistan and the Pakistani Foreign Minister exchanged views on a wide range of issues of interstate cooperation, including aspects relating to practical steps on exports of Turkmen electricity Afghanistan and using the transit potential of Turkmenistan.

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar, who arrived in Ashgabat to take part in second meeting on preparation of an international conference of foreign ministers on Afghanistan, which is scheduled for 14 June 2012 in Kabul, was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan on April 18, reported Turkmenistan.

The meeting was attended by the delegations from 15 countries and 14 observer countries, includingAfghanistan, theUnited States,Russia,China,Germany,France, theUnited Kingdom,Iran,Pakistan,India, the UAE,Saudi Arabia,Egypt,Turkey,Spain,Denmark,Australia,Japan,Kazakhstan,Uzbekistan,Tajikistan, andAzerbaijan.

10 international and regional organizations, including the UN, EU, OSCE, OIC and the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) took part in the conference.

Heads of diplomatic missions accredited inTurkmenistanand representatives of national and foreign media also attended.

The meeting discussed issues relating to the implementation of the concept of regional security cooperation in order to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan. One of the central topics of discussions was the Kabul Declaration, which is to be adopted following an international conference in the Afghan capital.

At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on major aspects of cooperation aimed at developing a process of regular political consultations betweenAfghanistanand its close and far neighbors, finding mutually agreed solutions on various regional issues, primarily related to the Afghan issues.

It was emphasized that all these efforts aim at developing the best formats of cooperation in key areas such as politics and security, economy and social sphere, culture and education. In this context, it was noted that a peaceful solution to the Afghan problem also depends on specific economic issues and provides for implementation of major strategic tasks to promote full integration of Afghanistan into the regional and global economies.

It was noted that restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan key to the whole system of security and sustainable development not only in Central Asia, but also on a wider scale. In this regard, there was stressed a special role of Turkmenistan with its powerful economic and resource potential that is pursuing a strategy of positive international cooperation.

Cooperation in promoting the project on construction of the transnational gas pipeline Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) was another topic of discussion.

Pakistan, India and Afghanistanagreed on rate of transit fee on supply of gas from Turkmenistanand final round of negotiations in this regard would be held on 24th may in Ashgabat.

Federal Minister for petroleum and natural gas Dr Asim Hussain announced this while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday. He said that three countries are agreed on rate of 49.49 cent per mmbtu.

Dr Asim Hussain said that consensus on transit fee of the TAPI project is a mild stone in our history. He said that negotiations over tariff are continued and he can’t disclose anything about it now. He said that gas import through this project would be cheap as compared to IP project and annually one billion dollar would be saved.

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