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Pakistani, Iranian Officials Meet To Discuss Gas Pipeline

The route of the proposed pipeline (RFE/RL) 23 January 2006 -- Pakistani and Iranian energy officials have begun talks in Islamabad on a multibillion-dollar gas-pipeline project.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Tasnim Aslam, said Iran's deputy minister for petroleum, Hadi Nejad Hosseinian, arrived in Islamabad for "technical talks" on the natural-gas pipeline.

She said work on the $4 billion project could start later this year. The 2,800-kilometer project is aimed at transporting gas from Iran to Pakistan and also on to India.

Iran proposed the pipeline in 1996, but the project failed to take off in large part due to tensions between India and Pakistan.