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Pakistani-Iranian experts to discuss gas pipeline by year end

Iranian and Pakistani technical experts will meet in Islamabad by end of year to discuss details of the proposed Pak-Iran gas pipeline, IRNA reported.

Informed sources told IRNA Monday that the Iranian delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Oil Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian will hold talks with Pakistani team to be headed by Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry Abdullah Yousaf.

The December 28-29 meeting was agreed between the two countries during Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali's Iran visit two month ago, they said.

The multi-billion dollar project would be from Iran to Pakistan and at later stage, if New Delhi agrees, will be extended to that country.

A tri-partite project, including India was reviewed after India declined to participate due to security reasons.

Iran offered to lay the pipeline up to Pakistan during Premier Jamali's visit to Iran.

Quoting Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Resources Abdullah Yousaf, local press report said that Pakistan had not yet decided on any pipeline project as it had three options: Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) pipeline, and importing gas from Qatar.

He said that his country would be in a position to decide which project suited it the most, after the final studies of the same were ready.

The experts here strongly support the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, saying it would not only help meet Islamabad's increasing energy requirements but also generate economic activity.

The Iranian experts would also take up Pak-Iran cooperation in petroleum and energy sector, ways and means to expand it further as well as curbing oil smuggling.

The economies of both the countries have badly suffered because of rampant smuggling of petroleum products from Iran to Pakistan through their common border.

... Payvand News - 12/22/03 ... --

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