Iran, India to discuss gas pipeline extension

Tehran, April 29 (IANS) Iranian and Indian officials will discuss here the extension of Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline to India, Fars news agency reported.

The extension project will top the agenda of the talks between two countries at an economic commission meeting this week, Tehran’s envoy in New Delhi Gholamreza Ansari was quoted as saying.

Ansari said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi would head the Iranian side while his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid would lead the Indian delegation, Xinhua reported.

“About six memoranda of understanding in various economic sectors are being drawn up and we hope they will be signed by both sides during the joint commission,” the Iranian diplomat said.

On March 11, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project in Iran’s southeastern Chabahar city, which is projected to link Iran’s gas pipeline to that of Pakistan.

Iran has constructed 900 km of the 1,600-km pipeline on its soil and both Iranian and Pakistani firms have undertaken the construction of the remaining part in Pakistan.

When the project is completed by mid-2014, Iran is expected to export some 21.5 million cubic meters of natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.

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