Iran says 'good steps' taken on IPI project
Tehran has suggested a trilateral summit to finalise the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.Updated: Feb 07, 2007, 15:14 IST
Noting that "good steps" have been taken on the multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project, Tehran on Wednesday suggested a trilateral summit to finalise it.
"Good steps have been taken with regard to IPI project. We hope soon we can see finalisation of this project," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said after talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Tehran.
He said Iran has proposed holding a summit-level meeting of the three countries in Tehran to discuss and finalise the project.
Mukherjee said he had asked Iran to expedite implementation of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) deal which was signed in 2005 but could not become operational because of non-ratification by Iranian Parliament.
Mottaki said Iran understands India's need for secure and reliable supply of energy because of its 8 per cent economic growth.
"Iran as a trusted partner could supply the energy not only to India but other Asian countries," he said.
A Pakistani delegation will be visiting India shortly to decide about pricing and other arrangements, he said, adding that a final decision would be taken after these issues are settled.
He said during his discussions with Mottaki, emphasis was laid on early conclusion of negotiations for signing of the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (BIPPA) and double taxation avoidance agreement.
Noting that Iran is a very important producer of hyrdocarbons and India a major consumer, he said "there could be mutually beneficial long term arrangements including our agreement on energy and the proposed IPI pipeline project."
These agreeements will generate greater confidence among private sector which is increasingly driving the bilateral commercial relations, he told reporters.