ADB: Turkmen Gas Comes Closer to South Asian Market
On May 23, India’s GAIL Ltd. and Pakistan's Inter State Gas System Ltd. signed gas sales and purchase agreements with Turkmenistan to supply up to 90 million cubic meters of natural gas a day via the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline, marking an unprecedented new chapter in regional relations, Asian Development Bank said. A gas sales and purchase agreement between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan will be finalized shortly. The next step is for the four TAPI nations to find commercial partners to build, finance, and operate the pipeline, estimated in 2008 to cost at least $7.6 billion.
Trans-Caspian and Trans-Afghanistan Gas Pipeline Projects Will Turn Turkmenistan into Energy Power – US State Department
Implementation of the Trans-Caspian and Trans-Afghan gas pipeline projects will turn Turkmenistan into an energy power, said US State Department Senior Advisor for Eurasian Energy, Daniel Stein, at Turkmenistan’s Third International Gas Congress, which gathered more than 500 representatives of 150 companies from 32 countries. The US continues to support the TAPI pipeline, which is an important component of the Silk Road initiative in Central Asia, said Stein. He noted that American companies also want to participate in the TAPI project.
Obama Administration Congratulates Turkmenistan, Its Partners on Signing of TAPI Pipeline Gas Sales Agreement
The Obama administration has congratulated Turkmenistan and its partners with the signing of the TAPI pipeline gas sales agreement, reported Silk Road Newsline. “This is a perfect example of energy diversification, energy integration, done right,” State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters in Washington on May 23. “We are very strong supporters of the TAPI pipeline. We congratulate the countries that signed it today. We consider it a very positive step forward and sort of a key example of what we’re seeking with our New Silk Road Initiative, which aims at regional integration to lift all boats and create prosperity across the region.”
Turkmen President: Turkmenistan, EU Hold Constructive Talks on Gas Supplies
Turkmenistan and the EU are holding constructive talks on gas supplies, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov announced to delegates of the international gas congress taking place on May 23-24. Turkmenistan plans to establish close cooperation between its fuel and energy sector and European partners and send its natural gas to Europe.
BP Says Original Nabucco Pipeline Plan Off Table
Oil major BP said it was no longer considering shipping gas from its Shah Deniz Stage 2 gas field in Azerbaijan through the Nabucco pipeline, forcing the EU-backed project to offer a smaller alternative. Iain Conn, BP's head of fuel refining and marketing said in a speech on May 22 that BP and Azeri state oil group Socar were now considering only two options for their gas - a smaller pipeline from the Nabucco consortium, known as 'Nabucco West", and the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP).
US State Department Publishes Annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices
According to the US State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the three most important human rights problems in Turkmenistan are arbitrary arrest, torture, and disregard for civil liberties, including restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, religion, and movement. Other continuing human rights problems include citizens’ inability to change their government; denial of due process and fair trial; arbitrary interference with privacy, home, and correspondence; discrimination and violence against women; and restrictions on the free association of workers. Officials in the security services and elsewhere in the government acted with impunity. There were no prosecutions of government officials for human rights abuses. The chapter on Turkmenistan in English is here
President of Turkmenistan Receives Professor of International Relations from Tokyo Foundation
President Berdymukhamedov received Yoshiaki Sasaki, professor of international relations from the Tokyo Foundation, who said that Japan has great interest in Turkmenistan and the culture of the Turkmen people. Berdymukhamedov stated that Japan’s innovative technologies may find wide application in Turkmenistan and noted Turkmenistan’s readiness to expand cooperation with Japanese partners.
King: Saudi Arabia Seeks to Bring Relations with Turkmenistan to Next Level
In his letter to President Berdymukhamedov, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is particularly interested in developing further relations with Turkmenistan and noted progress in strengthening the partnership between the two states. The message was sent on the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries. The two countries are exploring the possibility of partnership in the energy sector, in the field of cement and building materials, as well as in agriculture.
Turkmenistan Officials Discuss Best Practices in Prison Management
Five senior officials from Turkmenistan’s law-enforcement bodies participated in an OSCE-organized working visit to Denmark, Norway, and Oslo on prison management, the OCSE Centre in Ashgabat reported.
Turkmen and Foreign Scientists Go On Five-day Expedition to Koytendag
More than fifty scientists from the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Spain, Finland, Russia, Turkmenistan, as well as representatives of UNESCO, set off on an expedition to Koytendag - a unique natural site in the Lebap province of Turkmenistan that boasts dinosaur footprints and one of the world longest systems of karstic caves.