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FM Touts Iran-India Gas-Pipeline Project


21 February 2005 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said today an envisaged pipeline project to bring Iranian gas to India via Pakistan will encourage regional peace and trade.

Kharrazi held talks with Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh in New Delhi as part of a two-day visit to boost trade and discuss the pipeline project. He will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later today and give a speech to the Indian Council for World Affairs tomorrow.

Kharrazi said that the Indian government's recent approval of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline has created an "encouraging atmosphere for pushing ahead" with the project.

Indian Oil Minister Mani Shanker Aiyar has been supporting the five-year 2,775-kilometer pipeline project to meet the country's growing energy needs despite hostility from some in the government that nuclear rival Pakistan could also benefit from the deal.

India is predicted to require 400 million cubic meters of gas per day by 2025, up from today's 90 million cubic meters.

(AFP)
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