IPI pipeline to be finalised soon: Iran president

April 30th, 2008 - 1:28 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he was hopeful of finalising the tri-nation $7.5 billion gas pipeline project and added that oil ministers of the three countries would submit their report within 45 days. “Oil ministers of India, Iran and Pakistan will finalise their conclusion within 45 days and submit their report to the leaders of their respective countries. We are hopeful that we will be able to finalise the pipeline soon,” he told reporters after talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

“Discussions were positive. Hope that it will be finalized in the near future,” the Iranian leader replied to a query on whether the pipeline featured in the talks.

Earlier, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon had said in a separate briefing that India had asked that the gas pipeline project be economically and commercially viable. He added that India also raised its traditional concerns about the pipeline - “the security of the pipeline and continuity of supply”.

The Iranian president arrived in India about an hour late, at 5.30 p.m. He met with the President Pratibha Patil at 6 p.m.

This was followed by three hours of talks with the Indian prime minister, including dinner, at 7, Race Course Road. The Iranians reportedly gave a detailed briefing on the nuclear issue.

Ahmadinejad also met External Affairs Minister Pranab mukherjee, Foreign Secretary Menon and National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.

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