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Ghani to leave for Azerbaijan tomorrow

AT-KABUL: President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani is expected to leave Kabul for Azerbaijan tomorrow (Tuesday) on an official trip where he would explore new avenues to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

Embassy of Afghanistan in Azerbaijan in a media statement said that the president would be accompanied by the ministers of external affairs, economy, commerce and industries, labor and social affairs, and the national security adviser.

During a week-long trip, the president would also discuss the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. The project will cost $10 billion.

President Ghani, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, and Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari at a special ceremony in the project area near the gas fields of Turkmenistan inaugurated the project, a week ago.

The 1,735-kilometer pipeline is expected to carry 33 billion cubic meters of Caspian Sea natural gas per year from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.  Price estimates range as high as $10 billion and the project is expected to be completed in 2018.

The project is expected to create 50,000 jobs in Afghanistan.