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- Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will visit Tehran next month but it has to be scheduled through diplomatic channels. The minister will discuss the contentious aspects of the Pakistan Iran gas pipeline as the two countries have decided to fast track discussions on the gas pipeline project in order to formulate a roadmap and a more realistic time schedule for the implementation of this vital project.


This is one of the important outcomes of a meeting between Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs and Dr. Muhammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran in Tehran on Tuesday.


The petroleum and natural resources minister will discuss tariff, quantity and investment for the construction of the pipeline. Pakistan will impress upon Iran that it should agree to the rates that Iran is charging Turkey for its gas.


Official sources told The News here on Tuesday that Iran’s leadership particularly Foreign Minister Zarif eulogised the role Pakistan played for facilitating deal between Iran and P-five plus one deal on Iran’s nuclear programme. It would be pertinent to mention that the diplomatic interests of Iran in the United States are looked after by Pakistan ever-since Tehran severed its diplomatic ties with Washington.


Sartaj Aziz is in Tehran to participate in the 21st meeting of the Council of Ministers of ten members Economic Cooperation Organization. It was agreed that comprehensive technical commercial proposals on the IP Gas Pipeline would be discussed in Tehran between Inter-State Gas System Ltd of Pakistan and the Iranian nominated company - Tadbir Energy Gaspar Iranian Co. in the first week of December. This will be followed by ministerial level discussions.


Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif will pay an official visit to Pakistan next month where the two countries will discuss bilateral subjects and regional developments, the sources said.In Tuesday meeting the two ministers reviewed in detail the bilateral cooperation, regional and global issues. They expressed satisfaction over the friendly and cordial relations between Iran and Pakistan. Discussing various areas of cooperation between the two countries‚ both sides emphasized the need to put greater focus on bilateral economic relations. It was also agreed to hold the next round of Joint Ministerial Commission in Tehran early next year.