ECO Secretary General participated in inauguration of key regional infrastructure projects, held in Turkmenistan
The solemn inauguration ceremony was held on 23 February 2018 in Serhetabat, Turkmenistan on the occasion of launching the new construction phase of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline (TAPI), Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan power transmission (TAP-500), as well as fiber-optic communication lines, and the new railroad along the route Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) – Turgundi (Afghanistan).
The ceremony was vigorously attended by the President of Turkmenistan H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, his Afghan counterpart H.E. Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of Pakistan H.E. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister of State for External Affairs of India H.E. M.J. Akbar, as well as the high-level representatives from governments, international organizations and business circles.
TAPI aims at transportation of 33 bcma of Turkmenistan’s natural gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India along the 1,800 km route. Besides significant enhancement of energy security of three ECO Member States, namely Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, TAPI is also set to contribute to peace and overall economic development of the involved countries.
The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan 500-kV power transmission line project (TAP-500) is sought to export Turkmenistan’s power electricity to Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond. Meanwhile, the new fiber-optic line is expected to facilitate the development of regional information and communication networks. The Serhetabat-Turgundi new railroad offers immense opportunities for connecting Afghanistan to the transport and logistics system of the Central Asia.
Upon official invitation from the Government of Turkmenistan, ECO Secretary General, H.E. Ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akça participated in the ceremony as a Guest. On the sidelines of the ceremony the ECO Secretary General had a bilateral consultation with the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan H.E. Rashid Meredov on 24 February in Serhetabat. Both sides exchanged views on the forthcoming ECO Ministerial Meeting on Transport, expected to be held in May 2018 in Turkmenbashi port of Turkmenistan, and the possibilities for enhancement the role of Turkmenistan in ECO activities.