The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Raşit Meredow, is visiting the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, with a delegation accompanying him. Amir Khan Muttaki, Deputy Foreign Minister, appointed by the Taliban, welcomed the Turkmen Foreign Minister at the airport and demonstrated the importance he attached to the Ashgabat administration. During the visit, which covers 30-31 October 2021, the sides are expected to discuss various issues. According to the statement made by the Taliban, one of the main issues to be discussed is the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Natural Gas Pipeline (TAPI). TAPI Project’s Head also attended the visit.
It is possible to say that this visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan has three main important points in both bilateral relations and regional equations. First of all, one of the foreign policy dynamics of Turkmenistan is to increase the number of countries with which it trades. In this process, Turkmenistan, which is the fourth country in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, aims to strengthen and diversify its supply security. For this, it tries to ensure the safety of natural gas pipelines and markets.
In this context, this visit to Afghanistan was a smart move to implement the TAPI Project and to make energy trade with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. In addition, within the scope of the project, which has been planned to be implemented since 2016, Turkmenistan aims to ensure supply and route security by fulfilling its obligation.
Turkmenistan’s exporting of energy to actors such as Pakistan and India means a new route. From this perspective, it can be said that Ashgabat has taken an important and quite appropriate step. The aforementioned visit also shows that the President of Turkmenistan, Dear Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, is not indifferent to regional developments and does not hesitate to make the first move. Also, with the visit of Turkmenistan Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov to Kabul, it can be said that Afghanistan, even though it has not been recognized yet, is now accepted by the actors in the region.
Afghanistan, located in the heart of Asia, has been ignored or excluded for various reasons for years. However, today it is understood that this situation starts to change. This is only possible if the countries of the region act based on friendship and mutual interest.
Undoubtedly, the inclusion of Afghanistan in such projects is an important contribution to regional stability. This step is, not only in Afghanistan; is a serious development in terms of establishing strong economies that will increase peace, security, welfare, and employment also in Central and South Asia. The inclusion of Afghanistan in cooperation and projects is one of the most important steps and achievements of Turkmenistan President Dear Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Turkmenistan’s foreign policy. This constructive and peaceful policy pursued by Turkmenistan is respected and appreciated by both other countries in the region and the international community.
The attitude adopted by Turkmenistan today shows once again that the rise of Asia is based on the framework of common interests and mutual respect. Against the colonial policies followed over the years, Ashgabat offers the simplest form of win-win understanding. TAPI needs to be implemented as soon as possible to stabilize Afghanistan and strengthen ties between Central and South Asia. This is one of the priorities of Turkmenistan. Thus, while deepening regional cooperation; it will also be easier to eliminate threats. As can be understood, the Ashgabat administration assumes an important leading role and historical mission in this process.
 “Turkmenistan FM in Kabul for Two-Day Visit”, Tolo News, https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-175228, (Access Date: 30.10.2021).