Pakistan, Turkmenistan Presidents agree to expedite energy cooperation, trade

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari and his visiting Turkmenistan counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov agreed on expediting projects on energy cooperation and bilateral trade.

In one-on-one meeting Monday at Presidency, they expressed resolve to expedite $7.6 billion Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India TAPI gas pipeline project, inked last December in Ashgabat. Both sides agreed to start direct air links between their which would develop a trade corridor in the region.

Talks covering major regional, international issues gave new impetus to Pak-Turkmen ties in political, economic, cultural fields, officials said. They expressed strong commitment to further strengthening bilateral ties on principles of equality with object to work for regional peace, stability.

The two Presidents called for international cooperation to combat terrorism, illicit trafficking of weapons, narcotics, illegal migration, other crimes. Zardari stressed positive role of Joint Inter- governmental Turkmen Pakistan Commission, strengthen trade, economic ties. He said TAPI pipeline would provide energy security. Gurbanguly said his country was keen to upgrade bilateral ties with Pakistan in economic, trade fields and invited President Zardari to visit Turkmenistan.

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