India, Pakistan to sign consular access pact, close to IPI pricing

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Islamabad, May 20 (UNI) India and Pakistan will sign here tomorrow an agreement on consular access to prisoners held in each other's jails and are close signing a pact on resolving the pricing imbroglio on the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

The agreement on consular access will be signed after talks between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, officials said here today.

The two countries are also close to an agreement on the transit fee for transmission of gas to India through the IPI gas pipeline (project which has been hanging fire for sometime.) Pakistan Petroleum Minister Khawaja Asif has said progress had been made on the gas transit fee issue and the two countries would soon sign the gas transit agreement.

He said about six communications had been exchanged between India and Pakistan during the past few days and all matters regarding the fee would be settled within the next few days.

The issue of the IPI pipeline also figured at the talks between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries here today. Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told newspersons that both countries realised that energy security was the main concern and they required an uninterrupted supply of gas.

UNI RB GL RAI2144

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