Indian external affairs minister due in Iran for joint commission

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is set to pay an official visit to the Iranian capital, Tehran, to attend the 17th meeting of Iran-India Joint Economic Commission.

Khurshid, who will travel to Iran on Friday, is the co-chairperson of the joint commission, with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi heading the Iranian side. The meeting is slated to be held on May 3-5.

During his stay in Iran, the external affairs minister will also inaugurate the Indian Culture Centre in Tehran and hold talks with the Indian community.

On Sunday, Iranian Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari said that the two foreign ministers would also hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the commission.

He added that the issue of the Peace pipeline project, also called Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, is expected to be raised at the commission.

Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily said in late March that his country is willing to join the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, describing the multi-billion-dollar project as “beneficial” to New Delhi.

On April 19, Iran Oil Ministry Spokesman Alireza Nikzad-Rahbar said that New Delhi is in talks with Tehran to join the project, which will see Iranian natural gas exported to neighboring Pakistan.

“Since India has been motivated by Pakistan’s seriousness in building the [Iran-Pakistan] ‘peace pipeline’, New Delhi is negotiating to join the project,” Nikzad-Rahbar added.

The IP pipeline will enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters per day of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.

The Pakistani government has stressed that it would go ahead with the construction of the gas pipeline despite threats and pressure from the US.

By Press TV


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