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Pakistan invites China to join IPI gas pipeline

Islamabad, Oct 18, IRNA - Pakistan has invited China to join the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday.

Qureshi told a news conference on return from a visit to China that China can invest and include its expertise in the multi-billion IPI project.

"If it is IPI, it can be IPC (Iran-Pakistan-China)," the Pakistani foreign minister said.

"There could be a role of China in the project," Qureshi insisted, adding that Islamabad can provide an energy corridor to Beijing.

He said Pakistan and Iran discussed progress on the project negotiation recent in Islamabad and New York.

He said the Iran foreign minister during his recent visit to Islamabad discussed the issue as he was given mandate by the government to discuss it in his visit.

He said Pakistan and Iran are interested that India join the project but 'Iran says it cannot wait further for a third partner and is ready to bilaterally pursue the project'.

"Pakistan and Iran both welcome India's participation in the project. But India has not yet made a final decision," the Pakistani foreign minister said.

"We cannot delay the project as our energy requirements are fast growing," Qureshi said.

... Payvand News - 10/18/08 ... --

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