India, Turkmenistan ink energy pact

April 5th, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by admin  

By Vishnu Makhijani
Ashgabat, April 5 (IANS) India and Turkmenistan Saturday inked a landmark memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the oil and gas sector that is expected to go a long way in addressing India’s long term energy security needs. Minister of State for External Affair E. Ahamed and Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister for Oil and Gas Tachbardy Tagier signed the agreement in the presence of Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berbimohammedov.

Speaking earlier at the delegation level talks between the two countries, Ansari pointed to Turkmenistan’s geo-strategic location and said it had an important role to play in meeting India’s energy needs.

“Turkmenistan is geo-strategically located and with its vast hydrocarbon resources, it has an important role to play in the world’s energy security. India, with its vast requirement of energy is Turkmenistan’s natural partner,” the vice president noted.

Both Ansari and Berbimohammedov pointed to the close and historical ties between the two countries and said they would provide the impetus to move ahead in diverse fields.

Appreciating the fact that India was one of the first countries to recognize Turkmenistan when it emerged as an independent nation in 2001, Berbimohammedov said: “India’s progress in IT is commendable. We seek your expertise in this field.”

Referring to the growing ties, the president noted that some 15 Indian companies currently had a presence in Turkmenistan, trade had grown 10 times in the last decade, and that 10 flights operated a week between the two countries.

“We must find new ways to enhance these ties,” Berbimohammedov added.

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