Pranab Mukherjee to visit Iran, push for IPI project

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New Delhi, Jun 14: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit Tehran on July 29-30 to push for the 7.4 US billion dollars Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project and attend the India-Iran Joint Commission Meeting to be held after a gap of three years.

Sources said Mr Mukherjee will also hold discussions with top Iranian leaders on regional and international developments. However, the IPI is likely to dominate the talks. They said during the visit, the External Affairs Minister is also likely to attend the 15th Inter-Summit Ministerial Conference of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran. At the Joint Commission Meeting, the two sides will deliberate on political, economic and cultural aspects of Indo-Iranian relations. The focus is likely to be on energy cooperation, the sources added.

An 11-member Indian delegation was recently in Tehran to set the ground for the Joint Commission Meeting.

The visit follows a whirlwind five-hour tour by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here in April. During the visit Mr Ahmadinejad met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He also proposed a trilateral meeting of the heads of State of Iran, Pakistan and India to formally conclude the IPI agreement.

Mr Mukherjee last visited Iran in February 2007.

UNI

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