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Pipeline to India via Pak will be safe, assures Iran

March 03, 2005 14:30 IST
Iran on Thursday said it would guarantee supply of natural gas to India through the proposed pipeline running across Pakistani territory with a trilateral meeting convened in Islamabad for formulating plans in this regard.

"Fortunately, some solutions for the guarantee has been found and some suggestions have been made in this respect. In the coming weeks, authorities of the three countries - India, Iran and Pakistan - will have a common meeting," Iran

Parliament's speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, who is on a two-day official visit said in Bangalore.

Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar has said Iran will have to ensure security of natural gas supply to India and cover risk of the Pakistani segment of the pipeline by securing adequate financial and sovereign guarantees as well as necessary insurance cover.

"The suggestion is that Iran will bring the gas to India's boundaries and on the basis of this suggestion, there will be no problem," Adel said.

The $4.5 billion gas pipeline is 2,775-km long. One-fourth of this will pass through Pakistan, which is expected to be completed by 2009 and address the huge demand for gas in the country.

Adel said Islamabad would host the trilateral meeting where officials from the three nations would firm up commitments on assured security and supply of gas through Pakistan. He said bilateral relations with India were growing stronger.

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