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Symbol of the Regional Search for Cooperation: TAPI

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On September 25th, 2022, the Chief of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Project on the Gas Pipeline (TAPI) Mohammad Murad Amanov has had met with the Vice President of Taliban, Mollah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and discussed about the issues related to the implementation of the TAPI. While Baradar had stated that Taliban rule is ready to contribute to TAPI, while Amanov announced that a meeting of TAPI states will be organized in Ashgabat.[1]

TAPI, fundamentally predicts the transaction of Turkmen gas to energy dependent Pakistan, and India. The planned length of TAPI is approximately 1814 km. Its yearly capacity is designed to provide 33 cubic meters of gas from the world’s second biggest gas area Galkynysh to Fazilka which is in Pakistan border in North India. [2]

Actually, the discussed projects dates back to 1990’s. Even though the gas export to Afghanistan and Pakistan had been discussed around those times, TAPI gained its momentum in 2003 with the help of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). India included in the project in 2008.

First of all, it is possible to point out that Turkmenistan has taken a constructive approach through the TAPI that highlights regional co-operation processes. Because while the project fronts a solution to the Afghan Problem; it is also exclusively valuable on bringing Pakistan and India together which are conflicting about Kashmir Discussion.

In this point, it can be seen that President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Serdar Berdimuhamedov’s understanding of “Cooperation is the guarantee of peace.” aims to continue the peaceful politics of the former president of Turkmenistan Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov “Dialogue is the is the guarantee of peace.”[3] This matter is important for Turkmenistan to demonstrate continuity, consistency, and stability in its foreign policy. Without a doubt, this makes TAPI an important attempt that represents regional cooperation, peace, security, and wellbeing.

As it is understood, the TAPI reflects Turkmenistan’s idea of a preventive diplomacy and constructive cooperation towards crisis. Through TAPI, Ashgabat foresees that mutual dependency established by trade relations will contribute to regional wellbeing. At the same time, Turkmenistan can reach to Indian Ocean via India and attain new markets to export gas. This conceives TAPI an extremely important project for Ashgabat.

Looking at the size of Afghanistan, it is first necessary to remember the announcement of Taliban spokesperson Suheyl Shahin on August 18, 2021. In the statement, Shahin stated that the Taliban supports the project and that the project is a priority initiative, despite its long-term fading.[4]

It is important to highlight that, Taliban looks positive for the project since the tolls will contribute to Afghan economy. Inasmuch as the existing state, Afghanistan has serious lacks on facilities that can use gas, and distribution networks. However, the tolls will provide an important income to Afghan economy. Hereby, TAPI can be helpful to Afghanistan on economic crisis and financial problems that causes deeper employment issues every passing day.

More importantly, regional energy projects can mediate Afghanistan’s transformation into a key state. In other words, geopolitically Afghanistan, at the heart of the world, can also increase its geoeconomic impact thanks by TAPI. In addition, the TAPI’s contribution to Afghanistan’s international co-operation could benefit to the solution of the Afghan Problem.

It should be stated that; firstly Turkmenistan, the most fundamental concern about Afghanistan of Central Asian states is that the instability in the state can be carried over to region. Therefore, TAPI is an initiative that will serve to the stability of Afghanistan in private, and to the security and stability of the whole region in general.

Furthermore, Pakistan thinks that they can benefit from new investments as well. Thusly, in July 2022, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari described his country’s relations with Turkmenistan as the interaction of the two sibling nations and said that TAPI must be completed.[5] The TAPI will help Pakistan meet its increasing demand for energy, which will improve the energy security of the state in question.

Similarly, Indian officials makes statements confirming the loyalty of New Delhi to the TAPI frequently. Considered that India is one of the world’s largest gas importers, Turkmen gas can be expressed as a terrific opportunity for India. Thus, the President of India of the term Shri Ram Nath Koyind visited Ashgabat in April 2022. The purpose of Kovind’s visit had been explained as an expedite of TAPI-related work.[6] Moreover, TAPI is important about the strategy that India follows on improving its relations with Central Asian states.

In addition, TAPI will increase the interaction between New Delhi and Islamabad in line with Turkmenistan’s role in building regional and global peace. This could also open the door to normalization based on dialog in the Kashmir issue. Because of TAPI, communication channels between the parties will remain open.

Consequently, President of TAPI Amanov’s announcement of a meeting about TAPI in Ashgabat, has shown how Ashgabat gives importance to co-operation processes that prioritize the interests of all states and are mutually shaped by the concept of win-win. It also shows the reality that Ashgabat has developed projects based on co-operation in the face of crises. Therefore, TAPI confirms Ashgabat’s constructive role in building regional peace.


[1] “TAPI Leadership Committee to Meet in Ashgabat Soon: Amanov”, Pajhwok, https://pajhwok.com/2022/09/25/amanov-tapi-leadership-committee-to-meet-in-ashgabat-soon/, (Date of Accession: 27.09.2022).

[2] “Saudi Arabia Expresses Its Support For TAPI Gas Pipeline Project”, Business Turkmenistan, https://business.com.tm/post/7631/saudi-arabia-expresses-its-support-for-tapi-gas-pipeline-project, (Date of Accession: 29.09.2021).

[3] Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, “Barış Arayışlarında Sürekliliğin Adresi Türkmenistan: “Diyalog Barışın Teminatıdır””, ANKASAM, https://www.ankasam.org/baris-arayislarinda-surekliligin-adresi-turkmenistan-diyalog-barisin-teminatidir-1/, (Date of Accession: 27.09.2022).

[4] “Will a Taliban Victory Advance TAPI?”, Atlantic Council, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/energysource/will-a-taliban-victory-advance-tapi/, (Date of Accession: 29.09.2021).

[5] “Pakistan, Turkmenistan Mull Timely Completion of TAPI Gas Pipeline Project”, Dalu, https://business.com.tm/post/8928/pakistan-turkmenistan-mull-timely-completion-of-tapi-gas-pipeline-project, (Date of Accession: 27.09.2022).

[6] “India’s Plan to Realize TAPI”, The Diplomat, https://thediplomat.com/2022/04/indias-plan-to-realize-tapi/, (Date of Accession: 27.09.2022)

Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN
Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN
Dr. Doğacan BAŞARAN, 2014 yılında Gazi Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Yüksek lisans derecesini, 2017 yılında Giresun Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda sunduğu ‘’Uluslararası Güç İlişkileri Bağlamında İkinci Dünya Savaşı Sonrası Hegemonik Mücadelelerin İncelenmesi’’ başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Doktora derecesini ise 2021 yılında Trakya Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı‘nda hazırladığı “İmparatorluk Düşüncesinin İran Dış Politikasına Yansımaları ve Milliyetçilik” başlıklı teziyle alan Başaran’ın başlıca çalışma alanları Uluslararası ilişkiler kuramları, Amerikan dış politikası, İran araştırmaları ve Afganistan çalışmalarıdır. Başaran iyi derecede İngilizce ve temel düzeyde Farsça bilmektedir.