Hamid Karzai, head of Afghanistan's interim government, Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali of Pakistan and President Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan are to discuss the construction of a Turkmen-Afghan-Pakistani gas pipeline in Ashkhabad December 26th-27th. The leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan are to arrive in the Turkmen capital in the afternoon today.
According to the Turkmen Foreign Ministry, the sides will sign an inter-government agreement dealing with specific principles of the afore-said gas pipeline's expanded construction, as well as principles for establishing the gas-pipeline consortium, after the talks wind up.
The leaders of Turkmenia, Afghanistan and Pakistan inked a preliminary gas-pipeline agreement this past May in Islamabad. A supervisory committee for implementing the pipeline-construction project was established since May.
Plans are to build a gas pipeline from Turkmenia into Afghanistan and Pakistan. The projected pipeline will be pumping gas from the Dovletabad deposit, which contains 1.7 trillion cubic meters of gas.
The 1,500-km pipeline with an annual throughput capacity of 15-30 billion cu. m. of gas will cost an estimated $2-2.5 billion to complete.