Turkmenistan’s president arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday for a two-day visit that is likely to focus on the proposed gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, Pakistan and on to India.
The project, known as TAPI, is aimed at meeting the regional energy needs.
Pakistani state-run TV showed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif receiving Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, complete with a military guard of honor.
Sharif said: “We have signed today a joint communique and agreements, and we are including MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) covering a wide range of our bilateral relations. These will be helpful in further strengthening our friendly ties.”
Berdymukhamedov in turn said: “In this regard I would like to express once again the importance of the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India gas pipeline.”
We went on to say: ” It is known the efforts of the countries that participate in the project. We have successfully launched the project of construction work. This large scale project will bring countries closer and serve as a bridge for establishing friendly and brotherly relations between the people.”
“I firmly believe that this gas pipeline will provide warmth and cordiality to the houses of neighborly and brotherly countries. Also it will be a great contribution for promoting economic growth including the improvement of living standards in Pakistan and the creation of job opportunities,” he said.
The rare visit is considered important, especially after Russia does not buy Turkmen gas any more.
The four countries’ leaders broke ground for the billion US dollar-project in December 2015 in the Turkmen city of Mary.
Sharif has been very ambitious about the pipeline ever since he took office mid 2013 after winning elections on a major promise of making Pakistan energy self-sufficient.