Iran supports proposal for China to get gas through Pakistan

April 28, 2008 - 0:0

ISLAMABAD (APP) -- Iran Saturday supporting the idea of providing gas to China through Pakistan said it can make a commitment only after conducting a feasibility study.

Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Masha’allah Shakeri responding to question about inclusion of China into the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project said, “We basically support, but we cannot comment about it at this stage. We have to work about and see how it can become viable.”
Pakistan has recently offered China to allow a transit gas pipeline through its territory, along the historic Karakoram Highway, to help it meet its growing industrial needs.
The Iranian ambassador however said the IPI was initially designed to incorporate the three countries. He said inclusion of fourth country in the project will require a feasibility study, before a final decision can be taken.
There was no plan to ink the IPI agreement during President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad’s “brief official stopover” in Islamabad, while on his way to a state visit to Sri Lanka.
He said involvement of multiple partners in the gas pipeline project will bring stability and viability to the multi-billion dollar project.
President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad in his talk with President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will discuss bilateral matters, issues faced by the region and the Islamic world and the trilateral cooperation between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan with a view to bring peace and stability to the region.
The Iranian President who will be leading a high-level delegation including its Foreign and Commerce Ministers, besides its Minister for Petroleum and Energy and head of EXIM Bank of Iran.
About the Iranian President’s brief visit, he said, the Iranian ambassador said his country attaches great importance to its ties with Pakistan in all areas and they will continue to have extensive cooperation in political, security and other areas.
He said following President Khatami’s visit to Pakistan, it was now President Musharraf’s turn to come to Iran and his visit was awaited.
Ambassador Shakeri was appreciative of Pakistan’s stance on Iran’s nuclear program for peaceful purpose.
About the delay in launching the bus service, he said Iran’s central and provincial government had already put in place the entire infrastructure and plan for the launch of the service, however it was now up to the government in Balochistan to provide the necessary facilities.
He said the service was viable as there were considerable number of passengers who wished to visit the other country for tourism and pilgrimage.
When asked about meeting of Iran’s President with any political leaders, he said it was for the host country to decide the schedule during the four-hour stopover.