Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to visit Ashgabat late in December, Tehran’s envoy to Turkmenistan announced on Sunday.
“The exact date for the visit has yet to be determined,” Iran’s Ambassador to Ashgabat Mohammad Reza Forqani told FNA, adding that the trip will take place at the invitation of Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to his Iranian counterpart to attend inauguration ceremony of Iran-Turkmenistan new gas pipeline.
Earlier media reports announced that Turkmenistan is slated to launch the new gas link in December.
The Iranian envoy further said the visit by President Ahmadinejad will take place within the framework of mutual visits by the two country’s leaders.
Forqani said that the second rail line between Iran and Turkmenistan will also be inaugurated during Ahmadinejad’s visit to the Central Asian state.
Forqani further pointed to an exclusive exhibition of Iranian made goods to be held in Ashgabat in November, and announced that high-ranking Iranian officials, including Commerce Minister Mehdi Qazanfari, will likely attend the inauguration ceremony of the fair.
He noted that a gathering of the two countries’ traders and businessmen is scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the exhibition.
The Iranian envoy had earlier announced that the two countries planned to build a new pipeline to transfer Turkmen gas to Iran.
“Given the closeness of Turkmenistan’s gas resources to Iran’s border, a new gas pipeline is to be constructed in near future for transferring Turkmen gas to Iran in addition to the existing Korpeje-Kurt Kui pipeline,” Forqani told FNA in July.
The diplomat also noted that the gas companies of the two countries have agreed to export gas to Iran from a Turkmen gas field, other than Korpeje.
Turkmenistan has agreed to boost the volume of its natural gas exports to Iran to 14 billion cubic meters (bcm) from the current 8 bcm following the start of operation of the new gas pipeline between the two countries.
The new pipeline from the eastern Turkmen town of Dauletabad to Iran will have a capacity of 12.5 bcm of gas per year.
Turkmenistan has also undertaken to increase the quantity of its gas exports to Iran to 20 bcm in the future.