Today, IEA-Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi leading a delegation met with the Deputy Minister of the Council of Ministers of Turkmenistan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Rashid Muradov

The meeting chaired by the two foreign ministers focused on bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, upgrading Afghanistan’s diplomatic presence in Ashgabat, and practically starting TAPI project in Afghanistan.Broad discussions were held regarding enhancing the supply of electricity from Turkmenistan to Herat , revitalising the lapis lazuli corridor, and enhancing Afghanistan’s railways and Turkmenistan’s investment in Afghanistan.Thanking his Turkmen counterpart for the invitation and warm welcome, FM Muttaqi said that bilateral visits between the two countries signifies close and fraternal relations.FM Muttaqi said that in order to enhance the bilateral trade and goods transfers, the visa issuance process should be facilitated for Afghan businessmen and transport personnel, adding further, FM Muttaqi extended gratitude to the Turkmen side for providing standard training to the railway personnel of Afghanistan, and expressed hope that more scholarships for Afghan students would be provided in the future.Additionally, touching on Afghanistan’s full-fledged preparations for the practical commencement of the TAPI project in Afghanistan, FM Muttaqi expressed hope that in the near future both countries would be able to work jointly in Afghanistan, and highlighted on the progress made at Noorul Jihad substation in Herat, and the increase of electricity supply in Herat.FM Muttaqi said that economic-centric policy is the main pillars of our foreign policy, which focuses on regional economic connectivity, and the construction of Afghanistan’s highways and railways is one of the priorities of the IEA, encouraging the Turkman side to invest in the extension of the railway line between Turghandi-Herat city and Andakhoi-Shabarghan to Mazar-e-Sharif.Later, the Turkmen Foreign Minister underscored all relevent issues at his end.FM Murdov said that increasing trade with Afghanistan is our strategic priority and both teams will work to facilitate people movement, promising to give scholarships to Afghan students in the fields of electricity, railways, transport and gas.Turkmen Foreign Minister said that Turkmenistan has done enough work to start TAPI project, and soon the practical work will be commenced by the joint teams of the two countries, calling TAPI an ambitious project with a strategic importance for Turkmenistan.Mr. Rashid Murdouf said that his teams are working in Herat to increase the capacity of Noorul Jihad substation so that electricity can be extensively produced to the adjacent areas of Herat city.Calling the railway line to Afghanistan of strategic importance, Turkmen Foreign Minister said, the plan to increase the capacity of the railway station in Turghandi has been finalized, and the technical teams will continue to start work soon.During talks, discussion was held on Lapis lazuli route, agreeing to meeting of the representatives of the five countries on Lapis lazuli corridor to be held in Ashgabat in the near future. To end, the two sides agreed to continue to jointly work at high stack in the relevant domains so that practical initiative can be taken which contributes significantly in interests of two countries.