IEA and Turkmenistan officials agree to strengthen bilateral ties

A high-level delegation led by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi visited Ashgabat at the invitation of Turkmenistan on Saturday and met with Turkman Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Muradov and other officials, the Afghan foreign ministry said Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the foreign ministry, the meeting focused on strengthening political, diplomatic and economic relations between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan; on security cooperation, the early launch of TAPI and TAP projects, trade and private sector development, extraction of marble, increased exports of fresh and dry fruits and other commodities, and especially the completion of railway projects at Aqena and Torghandi ports.

The officials also discussed the possibility of investing in solar and wind power projects in Afghanistan, read the statement.

It was also agreed that Afghanistan would be used as a transit hub between Central and South Asia and that liquefied natural gas, minerals, food and other commercial goods would be transported through the country.

It was agreed between the two sides that technical teams would meet in Kabul on January 22 and that work on increasing power imports, TAP and railway lines would start in the new solar year (late March).

Meanwhile, dozens of students stuck in Afghanistan due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been promised that they will be allowed to return to Turkmenistan gradually from the beginning of March.

Turkmenistan also pledged to provide scholarships to Afghan students in the oil and gas, railways and other technical fields.