PM not compromising on India-Iran gas pipeline: Amar Singh

July 11th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has not “compromised” on the India-Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh said after he and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav met the prime minister Friday. “The prime minister assured us there will be no compromise on India’s security and sovereignty,” said Amar Singh, whose party is extending legislative support to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government after the Left withdrew support.

Friday’s meeting was the second between the two Samajwadi Party leaders and the prime minister. The earlier meeting was July 4.

Briefing mediapersons, Amar Singh said there is “misinformation being spread that the prime minister was compromising on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline issue”.

The $7.5 billion project is a proposed 2,775-km-long pipeline to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India.

The prime minister also informed them about his discussions with US Congressman Gary Ackerman who was in India last week.

“The prime minister said he had told Ackerman that just as nuclear energy is important, gas energy is also important. He said the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is very much required,” he said.

“He said we cannot under any circumstances spoil our relations with Iran or other nations. Our relations with the US have an important place but traditional relations with other countries will not be compromised,” Amar Singh said.

The prime minister assured them that there would be “no compromise on India’s security and sovereignty.”

Amar Singh claimed that Manmohan Singh told them that US President George W. Bush had not made any “untoward” demand during his talks with him on the sidelines of the just-concluded G-8 summit.

He said they had assured the prime minister of their support. “If need be, we will also muster the support of other parties,” Amar Singh said.

Amar Singh denied that any deal had been brokered with the Congress party for ensuring the Samajwadi Party’s support. “We assured the prime minister that there was no pressure from us on the government. We have not asked for the removal of any minister.”

“We are supporting the government on our principles, and to fight communal politics, and strengthen secular forces,” he said.

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