The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has confirmed that work on the trans-nations Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project has been suspended until the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) government has gained international recognition.
In response to an email sent to the ADB by Ariana News, an official confirmed that the project has been put on hold.
He said the ADB “has paused all its TAPI project due diligence and processing activities until further notice.”
According to the ADB, while the international community continues to assess the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the bank has decided to hold off on its assistance in Afghanistan. The official said the ADB however continues to consult with its shareholders and other stakeholders to monitor the situation in Afghanistan.
The $10 billion TAPI project to transport Turkmen natural gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India is one of the largest economic projects to date in the region.
“Some time ago, the Pakistani Minister of Economy said that we have a security problem and we cannot complete this project, and they have a problem with the fact that they want to eliminate India, but India will not be eliminated by Turkmenistan, which in fact is India’s last TAPI station, ” said Sayed Massoud an economic analyst.
IEA officials meanwhile said about two weeks ago that they had met with the TAPI project chief executive and the Turkmen ambassador to Kabul to discuss the project.
“The TAPI project is so important that it will change not only Afghanistan but also the region’s economy, and its first implication for Afghanistan is that it gives Afghanistan an international value.
“Second, common economic provisions create security and increase economic cooperation,” said Shirbaz Kaminzada, the President of the Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines.
The TAPI project stretches for about 1,800 km and will transport about 33 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas annually through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.
MTN receives $35 million offer for Afghanistan operation
South Africa’s MTN Group has received a binding offer for 100% of its shares in MTN Afghanistan for a consideration of approximately $35 million, the company has confirmed.
The identity of the buyer was not disclosed but the operator expects the transaction to be concluded within roughly six months, South African media reports indicated.
The sale will mark the completion of the group’s planned exit from its consolidated Middle East and Central Asia markets following the sale of its business in Yemen and the loss of its Syrian operations last year.
Muttaqi urges China to help increase Afghan export volume
Afghanistan’s Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi met with Beijing’s visiting special envoy to Kabul on Tuesday and called on China to pave the way for Afghan exports.
During the meeting, held in Kabul, Muttaqi thanked the Chinese government for starting the visa issuance process in Kabul for Afghan traders, calling it beneficial for bilateral trade between the two countries.
China’s envoy Yue Xiaoyong said that he was working on bilateral and multinational relations with Afghanistan, and spoke about the “encouraging news during his recent regional visits,” according to a statement from the Afghan foreign ministry.
Yue also praised the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) for its efforts and achievements, adding that the new Afghan government has been able to fulfill challenging and significant tasks in a short period of time, and that it had managed the natural disasters and cold winter well, the statement said.
The Chinese special envoy said bilateral relations with Afghanistan had progressed significantly, adding that the meetings between the two countries’ foreign ministers depicted deep relations between the two nations.
He also said that in addition to pine nuts, China was considering importing other dried and fresh fruits to help Afghanistan’s economy.
China’s special envoy arrived in Kabul after visiting Turkey, Pakistan and India to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
In Kabul, the envoy also met with Acting Defense Minister Mohammad Yaqub Mujahid, where they discussed the need for bilateral cooperation.
Mujahid told the envoy that Afghanistan would facilitate investment in the country.
Musk says Twitter deal could move ahead with ‘bot’ info
Elon Musk said Saturday his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter should move forward if the company can confirm some details about how it measures whether user accounts are ‘spam bots’ or real people, AP reported Saturday.
The billionaire and Tesla CEO has been trying to back out of his April agreement to buy the social media company, leading Twitter to sue him last month to complete the acquisition. Musk countersued, accusing Twitter of misleading his team about the true size of its user base and other problems he said amounted to fraud and breach of contract.
Both sides are headed toward an October trial in a Delaware court.
“If Twitter simply provides their method of sampling 100 accounts and how they’re confirmed to be real, the deal should proceed on original terms,” Musk tweeted early Saturday. “However, if it turns out that their SEC filings are materially false, then it should not.”
Twitter declined comment Saturday. The company has repeatedly disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission an estimate that fewer than 5% of user accounts are fake or spam, with a disclaimer that it could be higher. Musk waived his right to further due diligence when he signed the April merger agreement.
Twitter has argued in court that Musk is deliberately trying to tank the deal because market conditions have deteriorated and the acquisition no longer serves his interests. In a court filing Thursday, it describes his counterclaims as an imagined story “contradicted by the evidence and common sense.”
“Musk invents representations Twitter never made and then tries to wield, selectively, the extensive confidential data Twitter provided him to conjure a breach of those purported representations,” company attorneys wrote.
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