30 May 2007 - 12:04
  • News Code: 105938
Trilateral Efforts to Finalize Peace Pipeline

TEHRAN – Tehran, Islamabad and New Delhi have started official negotiations today on finalizing construction of the pipeline, which is to take Iran’s gas to India through Pakistan.

At the beginning of the first round of negotiations, Indian and Pakistani officials answered questions posed by reporters on positions taken by their relevant countries on the project.

During the interview, the Indian deputy oil and energy minister noted that agreement on price of Iran’s exported gas to India is secret.

When asked why India has not observed the previous memorandum of understanding, he said India has observed secrecy of the gas price, but Indian newspapers are free to cover important domestic and international news.

The deputy minister further noted that there have been talks about possible impact of international issues on gas pipeline negotiations, adding, “All three countries will talk about the project. Meanwhile, every one of those countries has relations with other countries, but those relations cannot have any effect on the project.”

The Indian deputy minister also stated that all decisions about the project are based on the mutual trust and national interests of countries and no third country could influence any possible agreement.

Asked about suitable gas price for India, he said, “Such sessions are aimed to make decisions about these issues and I have no immediate answer to this question.”

At the same time, the Pakistani deputy minister of oil and energy told reporters that Pakistan and India have discussed cost of gas transfer and transit tariff and noted that both countries have reached a general agreement on the main points, but need to talk more.

“We will establish security in those regions where the pipeline will pass and we are in control everything in those regions that the pipeline will be laid,” he said.

The Pakistani official noted that every country is to build that segment of the pipeline, which lies on its soil, but Pakistan is still in the process of making decision on how to build its share of the pipeline.

Asked whether a formula for selling gas to Pakistan has been finalized with Iran, the Pakistani deputy minister said the consultant company has conducted studies on price of gas and has presented the results of its study to three countries and those results have been accepted by Iranian, Pakistani, and Indian officials.

The Pakistani official also stated that Pakistan will import 60 million cu. m. gas from Iran in the first phase, which will be divided between India and Pakistan. The figure will be increased to 90 million cu. m. in the second phase.

News Code 105938

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