Islamabad, Oct.10 : Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has told Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki that India can join the multi-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project whenever it desires to.
Gilani stressed that "Pakistan wants the gas pipeline project should be initiated bilaterally between Pakistan and Iran while India could join afterwards whenever it so desires", said an official statement issued here after the meeting.
Outstanding issues related to the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project "must be resolved quickly" and the gas sales and purchase agreement between Pakistan and Iran should "be signed as early as possible", Gilani said.
Mottaki assured Gilani that Iran is determined to proceed with the IPI project and hoped remaining issues related to the venture would be resolved during his current visit to Pakistan.
Pakistani officials have accused India of delaying participation in the 7.4-billion-dollar project.
President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to formally ask China to join the project during his visit to Beijing between October 14 and 17.
A meeting of Iranian and Pakistani technical experts held in Tehran during September 27 and 28 had resolved four out of five outstanding issues related to the project.