13 May 2007 - 10:04
  • News Code: 104467

TEHRAN -- Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in a meeting with a senior Pakistani official has called for finalization of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas transfer pipeline project.

Speaking at a meeting with Pakistani Deputy Finance Minister Akram Malik in Tehran, Mottaki described the IPI project a crucial step for regional development.

He said Iran is determined to bolster economic ties with its neighboring states including Pakistan. "Raising the volume of trade exchanges between Iran and Pakistan to $1b would be the first step to shore up the bilateral trade relations" Mottaki said. "The two countries enjoy a good potential for implementation of joint projects", he said.

India"s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora Thursday denied US or any other pressure on India on IPI gas pipeline project.

"There is no question of the US or any other country interfering in India"s internal affairs," Deora informed the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) during question hour which was telecasted live. He assured the house, "There is no such fear and India cannot be pressurized."

"We are going ahead with our discussions on the pipeline project with Iran and Pakistan," he said when asked whether top US leaders like US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had put any pressure on India.

The 2,135 km long pipeline would be built at a total cost of about $7 billion, he said.

 

Deora said the government was also pursuing import of natural gas from Iran in national interests in order to meet energy requirements.

News Code 104467

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