Presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan Discuss Important Issues over Phone

The President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, had a telephone conversation.

The Turkmen President cordially greeted his colleague and extended congratulations with Security Council's recent adoption of the Resolution extending the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The head of state noted that Turkmenistan and Afghanistan's active stance towards development of regional and interregional cooperation is strongly supported by the Community of Nations.

By adopting the document, members of the UN Security Council expressed their support for regional projects to foster Afghanistan's development, including the construction of the Turkmenistan�Afghanistan�Pakistan�India gas pipeline and the Kerki�Ymamnazar�Aqina railroad, as the first segment of the Turkmenistan�Afghanistan�Tajikistan railway corridor, initiated by Turkmenistan. Development projects also include those for laying international power and fiber-optic lines.

As stressed at the meeting of the UN Security Council, not only is the unprecedented TAPI project a success for regional cooperation and integration, it also lays the groundwork for implementation of the long-overdue plan to enhance Afghanistan's economic self-reliance.

The Resolution, taking note of the outcomes of the Seventh Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan that took place in Ashgabat on 14-15 November 2017, urges the global community to further efforts to strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit, including through the Lapis Lazuli Route, and to create jobs in Afghanistan.

In this respect, Turkmenistan is an exemplary model of a reliable and responsible partner and loyal friend of the Afghan nation. Recognition on the part of the UN of importance and effectiveness of economic projects implemented by us is a vivid example of the right choice of a course for cooperation between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on the international political arena, stated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Turning to the discussion of the issues of Turkmenistan�Afghanistan cooperation, the sides were pleased to note the current high dynamics of increased collaboration between the two countries both in bilateral and multilateral formats, on the platform of major international organizations and reputable regional structures.

The Afghan leader expressed to the President of Turkmenistan his gratitude for the policy of friendship, good-neighborliness and mutual support and for the real assistance to the people of Afghanistan in building the peaceful life. The President of the IRA noted that the construction of the Turkmenistan�Afghanistan�Pakistan�India (TAPI) pipeline and transport and communication projects initiated by the Turkmen leader will become a valuable contribution to the peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and sustainable socio-economic development of the region as a whole.

Special emphasis was placed on the fact that the beginning of construction of the Afghanistan section of the TAPI pipeline will give a strong impetus to the economic development of Afghanistan and will facilitate reinforcement of peace and stability.

Speaking of the recent meeting in Mary province and the Afghan town of Herat on 23 February, when the construction of the next section of the TAPI pipeline, power and fiber-optic lines along the Turkmenistan�Afghanistan�Pakistan route was launched, and the new Serhetabat�Torghundi railway was commissioned, the sides characterized these projects as highly significant from the geo-economic and geopolitical standpoints. However, their main objective is to provide help and support to the people of Afghanistan and create most favorable conditions for Afghanistan's active integration into the international political and economic space.

Our country will continue to take most active part in international efforts to restore Afghanistan and facilitate rehabilitation of its socio-economic infrastructure, thus supporting the people of Afghanistan in their strive for peaceful and prosperous life, stated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, thanking the Afghan leader for his tremendous personal contribution to the reinforcement of relations of friendship and cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Focusing on partnership in commercial and economic sphere, the sides spoke in favor of boosting and diversifying mutual trade. In this aspect they noted the importance of intensifying the work of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Afghan Commission, and business contacts between private companies.

The heads of state expressed interest in expanding traditional contacts in the humanitarian sphere, including those in education, science, culture and healthcare, and agreed to further develop them for the benefit of the two peoples.

Presidents of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan exchanged views on a range of regional and international issues of mutual interest.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov renewed to Mohammad Ashraf Ghani his congratulations with adoption of the Resolution on extending the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, and stressed that our country will continue providing comprehensive support to further advancement of joint projects including the Lapis Lazuli Corridor that will help attract investments to the development of Afghanistan's economy.

Source: State News Agency of Turkmenistan