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APP72-22 MARY: February 22 - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in a meeting with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Turkmenistan. APP

TAPI pipeline project important as energy, trade,transit corridor

ISLAMABAD -APP/UNS :Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Thursday said that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline was an important project for Pakistan due to its growing energy needs.
Referring to prospective purchase of electricity from Turkmenistan, he said it would add a new dimension to the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The prime minister expressed these views during a tete-e-tete meeting with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamadov at Ruhiyet Palace in Mary, Turkmenistan.
Prime Minister Abbasi arrived in Mary city of Turkmenistan earlier in the day on the invitation from the president of Turkmenistan to participate in the link-up ceremonies of TAPI pipeline and associated projects.
Both the leaders highlighted the importance of TAPI pipeline project as energy, trade and transit corridor and held fruitful discussions on subjects of mutual concern, including issues of regional security, a press release received here from Turkmenistan said.
The prime minister thanked the president for the warmth and hospitality and stated, “Tomorrow is a historic day when another pipeline is going to be inaugurated.”
He termed the materialization of TAPI as success of the vision and commitment of President Berdimuhamadov and appreciated the personal commitment of the President in realization of the project.
The prime minister appreciated the president’s vision of TAPI as a trade and transit corridor for gas, electricity transmission and fiber optic, connecting the region.
He observed that the Gwadar Port would provide the most efficient access to the sea for Turkmenistan.
The prime minister apprised the president of the successful expansion in road network across the length and breadth of Pakistan including six lane motorways that will connect to Western China and the regional countries. “We see Pakistan as the hub of connectivity in the region,” he said.
The Prime Minister stated that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was the most visible part of the Belt and Road Initiative and stressed on enhancement in bilateral cooperation between the two countries while exploring new avenues for trade, particularly in livestock, information technology and agriculture.
Pakistan-Turkmenistan Joint Governmental Commission (JGC) is an ideal forum to explore the trade and investment potential between the two countries, he said.
The prime minister emphasized on the need for greater military and defence cooperation between the two countries and offered to assist Turkmenistan in meeting its defence needs.
The prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s full support to Turkmenistan’s policy of Permanent Neutrality and President Berdimuhamadov’s initiatives at the UN.
Warmly welcoming the prime minister and members of the delegation, the president thanked the prime minister for joining the inauguration ceremony of TAPI and link-up projects going to be held on Friday.
The president stated that Turkmenistan valued its special relations with Pakistan and highly appreciated the support given by Pakistan.
He mentioned that Turkmenistan-Pakistan relations were based on two pillars namely Energy Security of which TAPI was a flagship project, and connectivity to include rail, road, information technology and fiber optic.
Elaborating on connectivity, he expressed keen interest in Gwadar Port project.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamadov expressed hope that Pakistan will benefit from the supply of gas especially for industry once TAPI reaches Pakistan.
He also expressed hope for strengthening of cooperation in education, science, healthcare and sports between the two countries.
The president also stressed on promotion of cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
The delegation of the prime minister included Minister of State for Petroleum Jam Kamal Khan, Provincial Minister for Labour and HR Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkmenistan Murad Ashraf Janjua and other senior government officials.

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