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Iran, India pledge cooperation in energy sector

world Updated: Jul 30, 2008 12:43 IST
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India and Iran have pledged to take forward their cooperation in energy related matters, hours after New Delhi said it backed the right of all states to develop peaceful use of nuclear technology in accordance with their obligations.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here on Tuesday evening and discussed energy security and other bilateral issues.

The two sides said they were committed to take forward their cooperation in energy sector, sources said.

Asked whether the $7.4 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gaspipeline project was discussed, an official replied in the negative saying the structure of the meeting was different.

Mukherjee spoke about the desire to take the bilateral ties forward with a particular focus on increasing connectivity between the two countries.

Ahmadinejad recalled his highly successful visit to India in April and underlined the civilisational unity between the two countries.

Addresing the NAM ministerial meeting on Tuesday, Mukherjee said countries have the right to develop peaceful use of nuclear technology in line with their obligations.

"In this context, the advantages of nuclear power as a clean and affordable source of energy are well known,"he said.

His comments came against the backdrop of a row between Iran and the West over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme. Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili recently took part in talks in Geneva over its nuclear programme attended by a top US diplomat for the first time.

Permanent UN Security Council members and Germany have offered Iran trade incentives and help with a civilian nuclear programme in return for suspending enrichment.