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Ministers in Kabul moot discuss Afghan trans-border gas pipeline
Islamabad, Sept 16, IRNA -- Oil ministers from Pakistan, Afghanistan  
and Turkmenistan are to meet in the Afghan capital Kabul Monday to    
review progress on the 1,500-kilometer, $2billion Afghan-Pakistan-    
Turkmenistan gas pipeline, officials said.                            
    A three-member Pakistani team, headed by Petroleum Minister Usman 
Aminuddin, left for Kabul on Monday morning to represent his country  
in the second two-day meeting of the managing committee, its officials
    The first meeting of the committee, comprising ministers of the   
three countries, was held in the Turkmen capital Ashkabad in July.    
    The managing committee hopes to thresh out at least the outlines  
of a solution in the Kabul moot.                                      
    Sources say that the ministers and other senior officials would   
review progress and decide on principles to govern the formation of a 
consortium that is to undertake implementation.                       
    The pipeline is to carry gas from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad-Donmez
field to Afghanistan and Multan, Pakistan. It is supported by the     
United States.                                                        
    Simultaneously, the committee will also evaluate market           
requirements in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan, Korea and other Asian   
countries where gas markets have been expanding phenomenally in the   
last five years.                                                      
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the main sponsor of the project,
had proposed the meeting to be held in Manila after the series of     
attacks in Afghanistan.                                               
    The bank raised concerns over the rising incidents of firing and  
bomb blasts in Afghanistan, but the Afghan Interim Authority insisted 
that the moot be held in Afghanistan, assuring the delegates of       
    On May 30, 2002, the presidents of Pakistan, Turkmenistan and     
Afghanistan signed a tripartite accord in Islamabad to revive the     
"reluctant pipeline" and formed a high-level managing committee to    
oversee progress on phase one of the project.                         
    Phase one includes identification of financiers, evaluation of    
potential markets, determination of principles to form a consortium   
that will build, operate and own the pipeline and select consultants  
to oversee the project.                                               
    Sources said that representatives of the World Bank and the Asian 
Development Bank will attend the meeting in Kabul. An ADB technical   
mission is also expected to visit Islamabad, Kabul and Ashkabad to    
finalize terms of reference for the project.                          
    The managing committee, comprising Usman Aminuddin, Pakistani     
minister of petroleum and natural resources, Juma Mohammadi, Afghan   
minister of mines and industry and Yolly Gurbanmuradov, Turkmen       
deputy minister responsible for oil and gas met in Ashkabad in July   
2002 to compare notes and formulate future strategy for the           
implementation of the project.                                        

last Update Monday, 16-Sep-2002 16:18:52 PDT
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