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Work in TAPI Project to Start this Year?

Sunday 15 March 2015

ISLAMABAD (Associated Press of Pakistan) – Advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Sunday expressed the hope that the work TAPI gas project will be started by the end of current year. Talking to newsmen in Islamabad after inaugurating a day long international conference on Turkmenistan’s policy of Permanent Neutrality he said an important meeting of all the stakeholder of TAPI project was held recently where most of the issues have been settled.

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Sartaj Aziz

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAP or TAPI) is a proposed natural gas pipeline being developed by the Asian Development Bank. The pipeline will transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India. The abbreviation comes from the first letters of those countries. Proponents of the project see it as a modern continuation of the Silk Road. The Afghan government is expected to receive 8% of the project’s revenue.

Mr Aziz said due to law and order situation in Afghanistan, the project was delayed and added that now the Afghanistan government had ensured the safety and security of the project, therefore, it is hoped that the work be started by end of this year.

Sartaj Aziz affirmed leading financing agency had agreed to provide finance for the important project and the issue of pricing will be finalized very soon.

For Sartaj Aziz, recent tension at the level of Foreign Affairs ministries of Pakistan and India will not effect the over all dialogue process between the two countries. He said Pakistan is waiting for invitation from Indian side so that its Foreign Secretary can visit India to formally resume the dialogue process.

Concerning Turkmenistan, Mr Aziz said this country had proved with its actions and participation in the affairs of the international community that its policy of “Permanent Neutrality” was to ensure peace, progress and prosperity in the region and in the world. He said many gas pipelines providing gas to many neighbours of Turkmenistan which indicated that it had adopted the policy of “Permanent Neutrality” for the benefit of its neighbours and the region.

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