Taliban Acting PM meets Turkmen FM on bilateral ties

Kabul: Mullah Hassan Akhund, the Acting Prime Minister of the Taliban-led Afghan government, met visiting Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov here and discussed bilateral ties.

During the meeting on Saturday, the the two sides discussed bilateral relations, humanitarian assistance, economic and transit cooperation and the international engagement with Afghanistan, Xinhua news agency reported citing an official statement issued in Kabul as saying.

They also discussed issues related to a number of Afghan-Turkmen joint projects, fibre optic and railway projects as well as construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project, according to the statement.

The key regional project is expected to transit gas from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, with Afghanistan getting about $500 million a year as royalty and thousands of Afghans are expected to find work from the project.

According to the statement, Meredov said that Turkmenistan was ready to provide humanitarian aid to Afghans and help them in implementation of economic projects.

“Implementation of the joint projects would be helpful for the people of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and would enhance the regional cooperation,” he was quoted in the statement as saying.

The long-lasting war and insecurity had caused delay in inauguration of TAPI project which was expected to be completed in 2020.

The Afghan and Turkmen sides have resumed talks on the topic with prevailing security.