Reacting to an announcement by Turkmenistan of a pipeline project between itself, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, Robert Blake, United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said that while he thought it was a good idea in principle, “it will be up to the governments themselves to make some decisions on these very important matters, and also to attract commercial financing”.

In an interview with Kommersant in Moscow, Mr. Blake said the U.S. had heard about the proposed pipeline but did not have any details so far about “exactly what they want to do”. He added that in his view, the project was still very much in a preliminary stage.

Kommersant quoted Mr. Blake as saying, “Many many details need to be worked out, not the least of which will be the exact route for such a pipeline, the security arrangements, and also whether they will be able to attract commercial financing for this project.”

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