New Delhi, Dec 29, IRNA-Iran and India on Thursday expressed satisfaction over talks on Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) Gas Pipeline Project.
At the end of two days of discussions and the third round meeting of Iran-India Special Joint Working Group (JWG), both countries showed satisfaction on the progress that had taken place as a result of the regular meetings.
As a result of these meetings, there were now high expectations in the three countries concerned with respect to the project, S C Tripathi, secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said here Thursday.
"It was necessary to take further concrete steps to realize this project which was important for the economic development of the three countries concerned," he added.
In response, Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian, Iran's deputy oil minister for international affairs, reciprocated the sentiments expressed by the Indian official and noted that the proposed gas pipeline project was a symbol of close friendship between India and Iran over several centuries which had enriched the economic and cultural life of the peoples of the two countries.
He said that Iran had a strong will to implement the project as it would bring peace and prosperity to the region.
He was confident that the Government of India would extend the same support and political commitment for the successful accomplishment of this highly important project.
At the meeting S C Tripathi briefed the Iranian delegation on the achievements of the third meeting of the India-Pakistan Joint Working Group on the IPI project.
In return Dr. Nejad Hosseinian briefed the Indian side on the discussions his delegation had with the Pakistani delegation in November 2005.
The Indian side stated that their financial consultants had suggested a number of possible options relating to project structure that would meet India's requirements for a safe and secure world class project.
The Iranian side reiterated its commitment to the earlier agreed scheme of sale and purchase of gas at the Indian border and also agreed to the Indian suggestion to study other alternatives proposed by the Indian side.
The two sides agreed on the early finalization of this agreement and noted in this regard the need for an early finalization of a consensus on the project structure.
It was agreed that comments on those provisions of the Agreement that did not refer to project structure would be exchanged in January 2006.
Reviewing the international and regional market situation relating to oil and gas, the two sides discussed various options pertaining to gas price structure.
The Indian side informed the Iranian side that in the last meeting of the India-Pakistan JWG on the IPI Project it had been decided that the officials of the three countries should meet at a tripartite meeting in February, 2006.
The Iranian side welcomed this suggestion and offered to host the tripartite officials' working group meeting in early February 2006, and the tripartite ministerial meeting in Tehran in March 2006.
With regard to further action relating to the project, the two sides agreed to hold a workshop on technical issues on the IPI pipeline project in New Delhi in January 2006 to be participated by technical experts of the three principal countries and external experts.
The two sides also agreed to hold tripartite meeting of the technical sub-groups constituted for the IPI project in New Delhi and a meeting of the India-Iran Special JWG group to be held in Tehran in February 2006, meeting of the tripartite JWG groups to be held in Tehran and finally the meeting of the ministers of the three countries to be held in Tehran in March 2006.
Iranian deputy oil minister, who along with a seven-member delegation from the Oil Ministry and National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC), arrived in New Delhi on December 27 and concluded discussions with Indian delegation led by S. C. Tripathi, secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas here Thursday.
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