Iran, Pakistan Agreed to Finalize IPI Project at Earliest

A02022251.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Pakistan and Iran Friday agreed to finalize the gas pipeline project at the earliest to meet the energy requirements of Pakistan.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while speaking at a joint news conference with his Iranian Counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki, after their talks in Islamabad said both the countries have agreed to undertake this important gas pipeline project bilaterally for enhancing cooperation and promoting growth in the region.

He said India might join the project at subsequent time of choice, IRNA reported.

About bottlenecks in the launching of the project, the Foreign Minister said that many of the outstanding issues have been resolved while the remaining will be addressed in the forthcoming meetings.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Iran has also expressed its willingness to provide one thousand megawatts of electricity to Pakistan to mitigate the energy deficiency.

The Iranian Foreign Minister said on his part that the two sides are committed to the protection and said Pakistan and Iran and will not allow any person or group to sabotage it.

Qureshi said that five technical issues have been raised in talks on IPI and “I am happy that four issues have been resolved in the first meeting by technocrats. It has been decided that one issue will be resolved at earliest”.

He said that early solution of the issue will mutually benefit sides and will enhance opportunities for Pakistan to fulfill energy requirements.

He said that due to Pakistan’s energy requirements, Iran has agreed to provide 1000 MW additional electricity.

“We are deficient of electricity and Iran has agreed to provide electricity”.

Qureshi said Pakistan has requested Iran to provide crude oil to Pakistan on defer payment adding that Tehran has the provision to provide oil on three-month defer payment.

“We discussed difficult economic challenges. I made a request that it will be great help if Iran provide us oil on a defer payment under the Iranian law” Shah Mehmood Qureshi while giving details of his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister, said that they discussed in threadbare to undertake steps for promoting trade and economic ties.

He said Iran has assured to provide crude oil facility to Pakistan on deferred payment that will help stabilize the economic situation and ease balance of payment.

During the meeting, both the sides discussed ways and means to improve connectivity through rail and road links.

The two sides agreed to constitute a working group to formulate recommendations for the development of such infrastructure.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi told newsmen that in-depth talks were also held on the emerging situation in neighbouring Afghanistan as both the countries desire a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan for peace and stability in the region.

The Foreign Minister said he will soon be visiting Tehran to hold further negotiations on the situation in Afghanistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said both the countries have common interests and this meeting has taken place at a difficult situation in the region.

Condemning the recent acts of terrorism in Pakistan, the Iranian foreign Minister said these were aimed at targeting stability and security of the neighbourly fraternal country and called for addressing the root causes of such happenings.

He said both the sides discussed the Afghan situation as the developments there would affect the two important neighbourly countries Iran and Pakistan.

He said peace and security can be promoted in the region through collective and concerted efforts.

He said Iran stands by Pakistan in this difficult time for closer cooperation in the field of energy.

He said besides the gas pipeline project, Iran would also establish power plants in Pakistan to overcome its energy problem.

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