KABUL (Pajhwok): Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum Shahabuddin Delawar on Saturday said the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) gas pipeline project would be practically launched in the second half of this year.
Delawar made the remarks to reporters after talks with Turkmen Deputy Foreign Minister Wafa Khadzhiev who arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for talks on the multibillion project.
The acting minister said the representatives of the two countries assured each other that they would make serious efforts to implement the TAPI project and take adequate measures to ensure security.
According to him, the TAPI project will be launched in the second half of this year and the land acquisition will be done through a transparent mechanism.
He added: “There have been a lot of problems in Afghanistan for decades, it was not possible to implement small projects, but now security has improved, so this project, which will cost seven to nine billion dollars, is being implemented.”
Delawar said the implementation of this project is important not only for Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, but also for Pakistan and India.
Responding to a question, the minister said it was not yet known if they would provide security for the TAPI project or if they would pay a local company.
Turkmenistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister did not speak to reporters in Kabul today, but said in Herat province yesterday that the situation in Afghanistan had improved, paving the way for the implementation of the TAPI project.
He had said that the key issue in implementation of TAPI project was security and the situation in Afghanistan had improved and the groundwork had been laid for implementation of the TAPI project in the country.
He added that work on TAPI project in Turkmenistan would be completed this year, and at the same time work on a pipeline to Afghanistan would begin.