By: Amit Shankar
Ashgabat, Dec. 12 (ANI): Praising Turkmenistan for its role in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday extended India’s support to Turkmenistan’s status of neutrality
Vice-President Ansari, who held bilateral meeting with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, described Turkmenistan’s neutrality posture as a key factor for regional peace and security.
“The Vice-President expressed his belief that that the neutrality which has been followed by Turkmenistan was a very significant factor for regional peace and security and that is why India was a supporter of this concept. He identified the closeness between non-alignment and the neutrality posture that was adopted by Turkmenistan and said that he was extremely happy to have the opportunity to participate not only in the international neutrality conference but also in the TAPI ceremony,” said Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Navtej Sarna in a press briefing.
“He also discussed TAPI and briefed the Vice-President on the fact that they were looking forward to this project as quickly as possible. Considerable work had been done in identifying the construction aspects of the pipeline within Turkmenistan,” he added.
The Secretary (West) said that Turkmenistan President thanked Vice-President Ansari for supporting neutrality initiative of Turkmenistan.
Sarna said that the Vice-President, in his discussions, mentioned that TAPI had the potential of not being just pipeline but a regional connectivity initiative, particularly in a sector where regional initiatives are not easy to come by.
He said that discussions on possible cooperation in area of fertilizers particularly in production and long term off take of urea were also held during the bilateral meeting.
“They discussed cooperation in counter terrorism and upgrading IT project in Ashgabat,” he said.
He said the Vice-President also assured Turkmenistan of India’s assistance in capacity building and training of their youth. (ANI)