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5/20/05

Iran's Oil Minister to visit Pakistan soon for gas pipeline talks: Pak PM

Islamabad, May 20, IRNA-Pakistan's Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has said that Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh is expected in Islamabad soon to discuss the proposed tripartite gas pipeline with his Pakistani counterpart.

Business Recorder newspaper reported in its Friday issue that Zanganeh would be visiting Islamabad for detailed talks on ran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

The report did not mention the exact date of the visit who last travelled to Pakistan and India in January this year.

Premier Aziz was also quoted as saying that Indian oil minister has been invited by his Pakistani counterpart to visit Islamabad in early June for discussions on the multi-billion gas pipeline project from Iran.

The Iran gas line project surfaced in mid-90s, but no progress could be made towards its realization because of long-standing differences between Pakistan and India on Kashmir issue.

However, both countries are currently engaged in normalization of relations, giving hope to construction of the project.

Pakistan has offered India an "energy corridor" to import gas from Iran, Prime Minister Aziz added.

He said that Pakistan would take a final decision by December 31 on the gas pipeline project. Aziz added that Pakistan is weighing three options to import gas. The option include Iran gas line, Qatar project and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan gas line (TAP).

Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said in remarks published on Thursday that Iran option was the most economical and practicable compared to other ones.

... Payvand News - 5/20/05 ... --



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