Ashgabat, 9 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A proposed natural-gas pipeline through Afghanistan received backing today from the Asian Development Bank during a meeting in Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat. The meeting was attended by Asian Development Bank officials and ministers and government officials from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan. A representative of the U.S. Embassy also attended.
Rajiv Kumar, the chief economist at the Asian Development Bank, said the bank would fund a feasibility study on the pipeline. The estimated $2 billion project calls for the construction of a 1,460-kilometer pipeline to carry natural gas from Turkmenistan's Dauletabad-Donmez field through Afghanistan to Pakistan.
Robert Hanzy, of the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan, said the United States government welcomes the Asian Development Bank's decision to help fund the project.