On 23 February 2018 ceremonial events on occasion of the launch of new construction phase of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas pipeline (TAPI) and power and fibre optic lines Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan as well as opening o Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad was held in Serhetabat district, Mary Velayat in Turkmenistan. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shahid Hakan Abbasi and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India Mabashar Javed Akbar took part in the ceremonies.

Exhibition symbolically dedicated to the Great Silk Road was organized at the same place. Its exhibits allow getting visual impression of original traditions and customs, rich culture of the nations of four countries participating in TAPI project, which territories this ancient trade route used to cross.

The exposition of Turkmenistan bears the slogan of this year “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” and gives an opportunity to familiarize with the history of legendary path that run across Turkmen land, which is told by the map presented there. The displays introduce world known historical and cultural monuments of Turkmenistan located along the Great Silk Road as well as the samples of applied art including beautiful jewelleries and famous Turkmen carpets.

Welcoming high-rank guests and all the participants in ancient Turkmen land, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that the construction of Afghan part of TAPI pipeline, which is to serve for the sake of fundamental interests of fraternal nations of the region would be launched as well as foundation stone of 500 KWt power line and fibre optic line Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan would be laid.

Having congratulated the participants on the launch of the above-mentioned facilities, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the confidence that implementation of such significant projects would be another important step toward further consolidation of beneficial friendly relations of independent neutral Turkmenistan with the states of the world.

After the speeches the documents signing ceremony took place. The following documents have been signed: Intergovernmental Agreement on Electrical Power Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan between the Government of Turkmenistan, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan; The General Conditions of the Agreement with the Government of Receiving State on Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline project.

Later in the ceremony, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave start to the construction of Afghan part of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline and power and fibre optic lines Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan as well as opened new railroad Serhetabat – Turgundy by direct TV bridge.

The participants watched with the interest the welding together two steel pipes of another part of TAPI energy route, start of construction of power and fibre optic cables carried out using special machinery and equipment.

After, the participants of the events witnesses of the first train leaving border Turkmen station Serhetabat for neighbouring Afghanistan, Herat Province.

After, the Heads of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the State Foreign Minister of India left Serhetabat district for Afghan city Herat where the ceremony was continued.

Congress Centre «Mowlana Jelaletdin Balh» was the place of celebration events where at the main entrance, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was welcomed by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Having noted that after completion of the construction of TAPI, connecting corridor between our countries would be made, Mohamad Ashraf Ghani expressed the confidence that Afghan youth would also take active part in the project.

Afghanistan places a lot of hope on the realization of big projects initiated by Turkmenistan in energy, transport and communication spheres that bring the progress and prosperity to the region.

In this regard, the Head of Afghanistan expressed sincere gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for constant support and help in peaceful restoration of Afghanistan, having highlighted that Afghan people highly appreciate this fact and value the friendship with fraternal Turkmen nation.

The floor was given to the Head of Turkmenistan. Addressing the participants of the ceremony, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed sincere gratitude to his Afghan colleague Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for the hospitality and high level of organization of this event.

The launch of construction of the next phase of TAPI pipeline, power and fibre optic line between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad visually demonstrate responsible approach of all member states of these projects, their foresight, consent, commitment to their obligations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted.

These projects open new opportunities for further activation and expansion of international cooperation, attraction of other countries, world economic unions and financial organizations and business communities to this work.

All of these serves as visual confirmation of successful practical realization of common strategic purpose – active integration of our states to the world economy in continental and global scales.

Mentioning great importance of current events for Afghanistan, the President expressed firm confidence that opening of such important facilities would give strong impulse to economic development of neighbouring country and to revival of its industrial and social infrastructure.

The Head of Turkmenistan noted that Central and South Asian is the space for active international economic cooperation. These are the territories, through which ancient trade routes connecting Europe and Asia used to run for many centuries. At present time, the states of these regions occupy important positions in the intensification of global economic partnership, which main parts are composed by energy and transport spheres. Realization of the projects in these directions opens colossal perspectives for optimization of transport and energy relations in Eurasian space.

The projects of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline, Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan power and fibre optic lines as well as Serhetabat – Turgundy railroad turn into fundamental geopolitical condition. Their realization will make big positive effect on general situation in Asia and beyond its borders, having turned into the factor of the provision of sustainable development and security in the region.

By The Embassy of Turkmenistan in the Republic of Turkey

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