India, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan explore transport corridors

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On Board Vice President's Special Aircraft, Apr 10 (UNI) To overcome the barriers of connectivity, India and the oil-rich countries of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have agreed to explore certain transport corridors to enable the two sides forge strong economic and commercial cooperation, especially in the critical energy sector.

''Certain routes are being contemplated and some positive and concrete steps are being taken in this direction so thatthis barrier is broken,'' Vice President Hamid Ansari told reporters while returning from a visit to the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

Indian oil companies were working closely with their Kazakh and Turkmenistan counterparts in this respect, he said.

The Vice President said the North-South transport corridor project that will bring gas from Central Asia to India via Bandarabbas port in Iran, is also feasible so is the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-India pipeline project.

It would take some time before these projects materialise, Mr Ansari added.

Besides energy, there was great potential to strengthen ties in pharmaceuticals, textiles and agriculture. India has offered help in IT sector to the two countries.

Mr Ansari said he had wide-ranging discussions with the leaders of the two countries on various issues including Afghanistan.

UNI SMA MSJ BD1735

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