Important progress in pipeline talks with Iran: Pakistan

April 25th, 2008 - 7:00 am ICT by admin  

Islamabad, April 24 (Xinhua) Pakistan said Thursday it has made important progress in talks with Iran over the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project. “The gas sales and purchase agreement has been initiated and, once approved, will be signed by the two sides,” foreign ministry spokesman Muhammad Sadiq told a weekly press conference.

“We have also reached broad agreement on transportation fee with India. However, the issue of transit fee remains to be resolved,” Sadiq said.

The long delayed IPI project, which has been under discussions since 1994, were deadlocked in mid-2007 when New Delhi stayed away over differences on the transit fee and transportation tariff to be charged by Pakistan for Iranian gas sent to India.

While the transit fee is akin to a royalty to be paid to Pakistan for transporting the Iranian gas through its territory, the transportation tariff will be linked to the cost of the pipeline.

“It is being discussed between the respective ministers and the Indian petroleum minister is in Pakistan to finalize the agreement, ” Sadiq said.

India’s Petroleum Minister Murli Deora participated in talks on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project that concluded Thursday. He will talk with his Pakistani counterpart Khwaja Asif Friday to narrow down their differences over the IPI project.

Deora’s visit marks the first formal contact between India and Pakistan since the new Pakistani coalition government took office last month.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |