Ashgabat sings praises for TAPI gas line

Dec. 28, 2010 at 8:41 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to India will create long-lasting partnerships with all governments involved, the Turkmen president said.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline was an important diplomatic and humanitarian project for Central Asia. Though security is a concern for the route in Afghanistan, it is expected to create sustainable development in the country and beyond, the Trend news agency reports.

TAPI, he said, was one of the most significant achievements for his country in 2010.

Afghan, Pakistani, Indian and Turkmen delegates gathered in Ashgabat for a conference to advance the multinational natural gas pipeline in early December.

TAPI, dubbed by New Delhi as a new "silk road," will transport natural gas from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad gas field.

India and Pakistan are to get 1.2 billion cubic feet of gas each year from the planned 1,043-mile, with Afghanistan set for the remaining 700 million cf expected from Turkmenistan natural gas fields.

TAPI is seen as a rival to Iran's plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Pakistan and India.

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