26.01.12 10:30

Turkmen-Afghan high level talks held in Turkmenbashi

“Neutral Turkmenistan is committed to resolving the situation in Afghanistan only through diplomatic and legal means and methods, and it will continue actively participating in international efforts in this area,” President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said at a meeting with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, who arrived in Turkmenistan on a working visit.

As the Turkmenistan.ru correspondent reports quoting the press service of the head of state, the meeting was held at Serdar hotel on the Caspian coast. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that Turkmenistan would continue providing all possible assistance to Afghanistan and supporting rehabilitation of social and economic infrastructure.

“Afghanistan highly values the active support of fraternal Turkmenistan in the peaceful rebuilding of the country,” Hamid Karzai said in turn. He expressed his support for the initiatives put forward by the Turkmen leader at the UN on resolving the situation in Afghanistan, restoring peace and security.

Speaking about bilateral relations, the leaders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan called for expanding trade and economic cooperation, noting the role of the intergovernmental Turkmen-Afghani commission in increasing the volume of trade between the two countries and building up business relations.

The sides paid particular attention to the issue of cooperation in the energy sector, specifically in practical implementation of the project on construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI). Implementation of this large-scale energy project is important to all parties involved, and, above all, to Afghanistan, as it will help to stimulate the Afghan economy, attract investments and solve social issues of immediate concern, the sides said.

The electric power industry was also named among the priority aspects of Turkmen-Afghan partnership. Hamid Karzai thanked Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for increasing supplies of electricity to Afghanistan. Since February last year, Turkmenistan has been building appropriate infrastructure that will eventually make it possible to increase exports of Turkmen electricity to Afghanistan 5-fold and to meet the needs of the neighboring state by nearly 70 percent.

The Presidents also noted the great potential of cooperation in transportation and communications sector. They discussed the project on construction of the railway Atamyrat-Ymamnazar-Akin-Andhoy. A framework agreement on construction of this railway was signed during the official visit by the President of Turkmenistan to Afghanistan in May 2011. According to the interlocutors, construction and commissioning of the new railway will not only serve the development of transport infrastructure in Afghanistan but can become a significant element in the regional and international transit transportation in the long term.

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