Turkmenistan says work has started on Afghan section of gas pipeline to Pakistan, India

Turkmenistan announced the start of construction work on the Afghan section of an $8 billion natural gas pipeline that will link the energy-rich Central Asian nation to Pakistan and India. (Reuters)
Updated 23 February 2018
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Turkmenistan says work has started on Afghan section of gas pipeline to Pakistan, India

SERHETABAT: Turkmenistan on Friday announced the start of construction work on the Afghan section of an $8 billion natural gas pipeline that will link the energy-rich Central Asian nation to Pakistan and India.
Ex-Soviet Turkmenistan holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves but has been heavily dependent on gas exports to China after Russia cut back gas imports in the past few years.
“Galkynysh, the world’s second-biggest gas field, will feed the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline,” Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov told reporters gathered in a town near the Turkmen-Afghan border through a video link.
Berdymukhamedov was in the western Afghan city of Herat together with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar.
The TAPI project, supported by the United States and the Asian Development Bank, has been touted by Turkmenistan since the 1990s. But starting work on the pipeline has been delayed because of the problem of crossing Afghanistan.
The pipeline will allow Turkmenistan to find new consumers in Asia and cut its dependence on Beijing, which buys about 35 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 55 min 50 sec ago
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Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by growing sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of state and non-state actors using them in regional conflicts.
That’s according to a new report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI. The report was released on Monday. It found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them or by building them domestically.
China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand.
The report, entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” says China is likely to continue playing a key role as supplier of armed UAVs to the region.