India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan Join Hands for TAPI Project

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Ashgabad: The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the launch of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project marks the first step towards fulfilling the vision of an economically integrated region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Caspian Sea. He was addressing at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the TAPI Gas Pipeline Project in Mary, Turkmenistan today in the presence of the President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimohamedov, the President of Afghanistan, Mr. Ashraf Ghani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Nawaz Sharif and other dignitaries.

The Vice President said that TAPI is not just a gas pipeline project, but a reflection of the common desire of the four member countries to reconnect and a way to re-claim the shared geography and revitalise an age-old legacy of our mutually enriching interactions. The launch of TAPI also marks the first step towards fulfilling the vision of an economically integrated region, he added.

The Vice President said that we must be aware of the challenges that lie ahead and we must work together to keep away the negative forces inimical to the success of the project. We must recognise that the forces of violence and disruption can no longer be allowed to threaten the quest for economic development and security of our people, he added. The Vice President also said that we need to work together to ensure the technical and commercial viability of the project in its broadest sense and said that the international marketplace for energy works on complex principles. However, given the widespread poverty that exists in our countries, it is essential to ensure that we can make energy available at the least possible cost to the largest sections of our people, he added.

This is indeed a momentous occasion. TAPI is much more than a gas pipeline project for our countries. It is a reflection of the common desire of the four member countries to re-connect ourselves. We are seeking to re-claim our shared geography and revitalise an age-old legacy of our mutually enriching interactions. The launch of TAPI also marks the first step towards fulfilling the vision of an economically integrated region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Caspian Sea.

The fact that we are doing so in the historic Silk Road city of Mary (Merv) is entirely appropriate. It was here, centuries ago, that caravans carrying goods paused to refresh themselves and thereby bestow on generations to come a colourful tapestry of mutually beneficial exchanges. It was here that our ideas and imaginations, spirituality and song, art and architecture met and mingled, and a shared history was written.

PIB

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