Pakistan and Iran have decided to hold fast track discussions on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project with the purpose to formulate a road map and a more realistic time schedule for the implementation of this important project, Foreign Office said. “This was 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 the Islamic Republic of Iran in Tehran on Tuesday,” said Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, spokesman for the Foreign Office.
He said that the two sides 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, he added. Sartaj Aziz is in Tehran to participate in the 21st Meeting of the Council of Ministers of ten members Economic Co-operation Organisation.
The visit of Prime Minister’s Advisor is taking place at a time when Iran and G5 Plus one have reached a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme resulting in the lifting of trade sanctions in petrochemicals with Iran opening the prospect of the withdrawal of the US opposition to the IP gas pipeline project.
The US has repeatedly showed its concern over the multi-billion dollar project and also threatened Pakistan of sanctions. However, Pakistan believes that the project does not come under international sanction. According to the spokesman, the two foreign ministers reviewed in detail the bilateral co-operation, regional and global issues and expressed satisfaction over the friendly and cordial relations between Iran and Pakistan.
Discussing various areas of co-operation between the two countries‚ both sides emphasised the need to put greater focus on bilateral economic relations, adding that it was agreed to hold the next round of Joint Ministerial Commission in Tehran early next year. Earlier, addressing the ECO Ministerial meeting, Sartaj Aziz reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment to the aims and objectives of the Organisation.
Recalling the ECO’s aim at promoting sustainable economic co-operation, the Advisor remarked that it had a solid programme of co-operation, a forward looking agenda and expanding horizon of activities. He observed that ECO had made reasonable progress and needed to show more proactive approach so that the benefits directly affect the lives of the people of the Region. Sartaj Aziz had separate bilateral meetings with Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey and B Taganov, Minister of Economy and Development of Turkmenistan.
Author: Ali Hussain
Source: Business Recorder