India, Turkmenistan decide to fast-track TAPI, sign defence pact

India and Turkmenistan, the energy-rich Central Asian nation, have decided to fast-track the implementation of the long discussed TAPI pipeline, which is poised to have a transformational impact on economic relations between the two countries as well as the region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian leader to visit Turkmenistan after a gap of two decades as he touched down in the capital Ashgabat on July 10. P.V Narasimha Rao was the last Indian prime minister to visit Turkmenistan.

Energising Ties

Prime Minister Modi and President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held wide-ranging talks, which have energised bilateral ties across the spectrum. The showpiece outcome held at Ashgabat on July 11 was clearly the decision by the two sides to move ahead with the TAPI project, along with plans to finalize the consortium leader. “The Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment towards timely implementation of this strategic project for the common benefit of peoples of the four countries and noted that the selection of the Consortium Leader for the project, to be finalized by 1 September 2015, would mark a crucial step in the early implementation of the project,” said the joint statement.

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