Manmohan, Iranian Prez discuss energy ties
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday discussed energy cooperation and the need to push forward the tri-nation pipeline with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The telephonic conversation between the two leaders was initiated at the request of the Iranian president, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said.
"The leaders essentially discussed bilateral issues, including cooperation in the field of energy," Sarna added.
"The Prime Minister conveyed the good wishes of the government and the people of India to the president and the people of Iran," he said.
"Both leaders agreed on the need to push the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline for the sake of energy security," official sources said.
Despite India's vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the two countries have not allowed it to affect bilateral ties, especially the pipeline project.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Oil Minister Mohammad Hadi Nejad-Hosseinian had urged Pakistan and India to press ahead with a $7 billion gas pipeline project or face the prospect of forking out a few extra billions a year on oil imports. Nejad-Hosseinian was speaking to reporters on his arrival in Pakistan on Friday.
Last week, Manmohan Singh, while speaking to reporters accompanying him to Germany, had stressed on the need to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy and dialogue within the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He had also emphasised that the time was not ripe for imposing sanctions against Iran and that bilateral ties, including the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, were on course.