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Talks on gas pipeline positive: Aiyar

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 05, 2005 20:19 IST
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A "constructive dialogue" on the tri-nation gas pipeline from Myanmar to India through Bangladesh was progressing with "considerable satisfaction", visiting Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Monday.

"Talks are underway with considerable satisfaction," he said after a two-hour meeting with Bangladesh's energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman in Dhaka.

Asked to comment on India's stand on the proposed project, Aiyar referred to the joint declaration after the first round of talks in Myanmar capital Yangon when all the three countries agreed in principle to cooperate in a gas exploration and the overland pipeline project that would send gas to energy-hungry India.

Earlier, he had an hour-long meeting with Bangladesh Foreign Minister Morshed Khan, following which he said that the things were "moving forward" with regard to the project.

Official BSS news agency, quoting officials, said the issues of mineral resource exploration also featured in the talks between Aiyar and Mahmudur Rahman with the pipeline being the dominating one.

Bangladesh has the potential to contribute to creating energy security in the Indian sub-continent, India's Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Monday.

The focus of his talks was likely to be the proposed three-nation gas pipeline issue, for which Dhaka had earlier set conditions including corridor to carry out trade with other neighbours, reports said.

Aiyar, who is here on an invitation by Foreign Minister Morshed Khan was welcomed by Indian High Commissioner Veena Sikri and other top officials at the airport.

Aiyar had to use wheelchair to get off the aircraft because of an injury in his right leg. The visit by an influential minister like Aiyar after Indian External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh's trip to the country was considered significant in the context of Indo-Bangladesh bilateral relations, analysts said.
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