Afghanistan, Turkmenistan sign five MoUs in energy, sports, science, technology and trade

Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed multiple cooperation agreements on Thursday during the visit of Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to Kabul.

Mr. Berdimuhamedow, accompanied by a high-level government delegation, arrived in Kabul early on Thursday.

During a ceremony at the presidential palace, five memorandums of understanding (MoU) were inked between the two countries in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani and his Turkmen counterpart.

The MoUs will improve bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of energy, sports, science, technology and trade, said a statement issued by President Ghani’s office.

After signing the agreements, the two leaders addressed a joint press conference and reaffirmed their commitment to bolster bilateral ties.

The MoUs will improve bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the areas of energy, sports, science, technology and trade, said a statement issued by President Ghani’s office

President Ghani called Turkmenistan a “brotherly” neighbor of Afghanistan, which brought a broad smile on the face of his guest.

“I recognize Turkmenistan as a constant friend, good neighbor and partner for security, stability and peace in the region,” President Ghani affirmed.

The two countries, he said, will have “enhanced cooperation in many areas” as a result of Mr. Berdimuhamedow’s visit to Kabul.

During their meeting, the two leaders discussed the gas pipeline, electricity distribution project and construction of the railway network, he said.

Turkmenistan, he said, has agreed to increase electricity supply to Afghanistan to meet the growing demand.

“Enhanced relations between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan will provide many opportunities for our business community,” President Ghani said.

The two leaders also discussed transportation and announced that the 400-km Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan (TAT) railway line will be ready by February 2016.

The ambitious project, which is part of the Central Asia Regional Cooperation Program and funded by Asian Development Bank, will cost an estimated two billion USD.

President Ghani said Afghanistan imports goods worth one billion USD from Turkmenistan every year and this railway line will further increase trade between the two countries.

The border between two countries, President Ghani said, should become “a model frontier for peace, cooperation, coexistence, good livelihood & neighborly relations” 

“The people of Afghanistan look forward to the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway network,” he said.

The border between two countries, President Ghani said, should become “a model frontier for peace, cooperation, coexistence, good livelihood & neighborly relations”.
 
Mr. Berdimuhamedow, in his remarks, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to support Afghanistan and improve bilateral ties. 

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