Pranab, Iran's Mehdi discusses IPI project

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New Delhi, Dec 19: Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and discussed about the proposed 7.4 billion dollar gas pipeline project on Thursday, Dec 18.

According to reports, the two sides discussed ways to break the deadlock over the project. Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon led the Indian side while Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh was his counterpart. Earlier, both sides had decided to set up a trilateral Ministerial mechanism to resolve various issues related to the project.Under the mechanism, the Oil Ministers level meeting between India, Pakistan and Iran will take place to address different issues related to the project.

The decision, taken after a request from India to Iran, reflects India's strong willingness to go ahead with the IPI project to fulfill its energy needs.

Over transit fee demanded by Pakistan for passage of gas across Pak, India has been boycotting the talks over the project. On April 30, Ahmedinejad met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had claimed that the two sides had decided to address the issue in 45 days.

It is learnt that both India and Pakistan have resolved all bilateral issues after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met Oil Minister Murli Deora in June this year.


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