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Iranian FM, Indian PM discuss gas pipeline project

NEW DELHI, Nov. 16 (Mehr News Agency) - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki who arrived in New Delhi on Monday morning held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna behind closed doors.

An Indian official said talks between Mottaki and Krishna would cover the much-delayed 7.5-billion-dollar gas pipeline project that was first mooted in 1994, AFP reported.

The project would carry gas from Iran to Pakistan and then India.

Recently India announced its willingness to join the project which Iran calls the peace pipeline project.

India withdrew from the talks last year, citing disagreements about prices and transit fees as well as chronic disputes with Pakistan.

In talks with Mottaki on Monday, Singh said India is willing to go ahead with the gas pipeline project.

The Indian premier noted he might also travel to Tehran in the future, said the Mehr News Agency correspondent who was visiting India with Mottaki.

Mottaki told Singh that Iran and India, as traditional allies, could formulate similar policies on regional issues.

Upon his arrival in New Delhi, Mottaki said that he would hold talks on mutual interests, ways to improve political and economic cooperation, and regional issues including crises in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Some Indian media outlets reported that different issues including the pipeline project, campaigns against terrorism, Iran-India trade cooperation, and situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan would feature in talks between Mottaki and Indian officials.

The Indian Foreign Ministry also announced on Sunday that Mottaki's visit would be an opportunity for both sides to exchange views on mutual interests and ways to strengthen Tehran-New Delhi relationship.

... Payvand News - 11/17/09 ... --

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