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Aiyar to visit Pakistan from June 3-7

May 20, 2005 18:33 IST

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar will visit Pakistan from June 3 to boost energy ties and discuss the $4.16 billion Iran-India gas pipeline project.

During his five-day visit, Aiyar will push for diesel and petrochemical exports to Pakistan and discuss import of natural gas from Iran through a 2,600-km pipeline, 760-km of which is to pass through Pakistan.

"Islamabad has invited Aiyar from June 5 to 7 for official talks," a senior official in the petroleum ministry said.

Bilateral talks, New Delhi's first engagement with Pakistan in the hydrocarbon sector, would be held on June 5-7 while Aiyar proposes to visit his birthplace Karachi on June 3 and 4.

During his meeting, Aiyar said he would take up the issue of removing diesel from the negative list of importable items from India and look at settling transit issues with Pakistan before his June trip to Tehran to seal a deal for import of 60-70 million standard cubic metres per day of natural gas through a pipeline.

"Aiyar will discuss transit issues like route of the pipeline, transit fee, etc with Pakistan as it will have an important bearing on the cost of gas," he said.

From Islamabad, Aiyar would fly to Baku to attend the 12th Caspian Oil & Gas Conference on June 8-10. He would then fly to Tehran for finalising the deal for import of 5 million tonnes of LNG from 2010. Aiyar will be in Tehran from June 11-12.
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