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Why is the TAPI Gas Pipeline So Important to Turkmenistan?

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Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov strictly adheres to the policy of his predecessor, Saparmurat Niyazov. The present leader of the country, who bears the official title of Arkadag, translated as patron from the Turkmen language, does his best to ensure that the state entrusted to him remains permanently neutral.

The policy of neutrality has led Turkmenistan to minimize contact with other countries. As a consequence, the Turkmen economy has been badly affected. Due to the fact that citizens of Turkmenistan are tacitly forbidden to travel abroad. Legal Turkmen labor migrants cannot be found in any country of the world. It is also difficult to find goods that are made in Turkmenistan outside the state. To keep the country viable, the Turkmen authorities actively export energy resources. It is the supply of oil and gas that forms the bulk of Turkmenistan’s national income.

In December 2015, a very important and significant event for the entire Central Asian region took place in the Turkmen city of Mary: the construction of the Turkmen section of the TAPI gas pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) began. The agreement between these countries on creating a gas pipeline was signed back at the end of 2010. The almost 2,000 km long pipeline will run from the gas-rich southeast of Turkmenistan, home to one of the world’s largest, the Galkynysh Gas Field, to the Indian town of Fazilka near the India-Pakistan border. More than 200 km of the pipeline will run........

© New Eastern Outlook

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