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Pakistan, India renew commitment to Iran gas pipeline

Islamabad, Oct 4, IRNA-Pakistan and India have renewed their commitment to the multi-billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline and observed that the project is a key to regional development.

The commitment was made in a joint statement issued at the conclusion of two-day talks between Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and India.

The two Ministers reiterated their commitment to the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and agreed that this would contribute significantly to the prosperity and development of their countries, said the joint statement.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Khurshid M. Kasuri and the Indian External Affairs Minister, Shri K. Natwar Singh met in Islamabad on October 3rd for a review meeting on the progress of the second round of the Composite Dialogue Comprising Peace & Security, the statement said.

The plenary meeting of the revived Pakistan-India Joint Commission was also held in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The meeting was convened pursuant to the decision taken by President General Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in their Joint Statement issued on 18 April 2005.

The talks were held in a cordial and constructive atmosphere.

The Ministers held detailed and substantive discussions on the whole range of issues within the framework of the Composite Dialogue process and expressed satisfaction over the progress in the Composite Dialogue since their last review meeting in September, 2004.

The Ministers reiterated that possible options for a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir should be explored in a sincere, purposeful and forward-looking manner.

The Ministers reaffirmed their determination not to allow terrorism to impede the peace process.

They resolved to carry forward the peace process and to maintain its momentum.

The Ministers expressed satisfaction over developments that have taken place over the last one year, including the smooth operation of the Muzaffarbad-Srinagar bus service.

It was agreed that Expert level meetings will be held by the end of this year to finalize modalities for the meeting points of the divided families across the Line of Control and to initiate a truck service on Muzaffarabad-Srinagar route.

The Indian side presented drafts for consideration proposing amendments to the existing agreements on visa, visits to religious shrines and new proposals for a Cultural Exchange Program.

The two sides agreed to pursue these matters under the Composite Dialogue framework.

The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to maintain the integrity of the Composite Dialogue.

The External Affairs Minister of India invited the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to visit India.

The invitation was accepted and dates would be finalized through diplomatic channels.

... Payvand News - 10/5/05 ... --

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