First round of negotiaions on construction of Turkmenia-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline held in Ashkhabad

On Thursday at the palace of Turkmen-bashi in Ashkhabad the first round of negotiations was held to consider construction of a gas pipeline Turkmenia-Afghanistan-Pakistan.

In the afternoon head of the transitional government of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Pakistani prime-minister Mir Zafarulla Khan Jamali arrived in the Turkmenian capital and immediately started three-partite negotiations attended by President Saparmurat Niyazov.

A three-partite agreement on construction of the trans-Afghan pipeline is expected to be signed on Friday. Leaders of Turkmenia, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed the preliminary agreement in May this year in Islamabad.

The gas pipeline from Turkmenia across Afghanistan to Pakistan is scheduled to be built to transport gas from the Dovletabad deposit the reserves of which are estimated at 1.7 trillion of cubic meters. The total length of the pipeline will amount to about 1500 kilometers, the cost of the project is USD 2-2.5 billion dollars.

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