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Iran, Pakistan to sign final pipeline agreement
 
 
 


Tehran  - The final agreement on a pipeline project, which is due to take Iran’s rich gas reserves to energy-hungry Pakistan, will be signed during an upcoming visit by President Asif Ali Zardari to Iran, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast announced on Wednesday, reported Fars News Agency.  “The final agreement (on the project) will be most likely signed during Asif Ali Zardari’s upcoming visit to Tehran,” Mehman-Parast told reporters in Islamabad on Wednesday. He further said Iran has accepted to fund the project up to 500 million dollars.The agreement was to be inked between Tehran and Islamabad during the November visit to Pakistan by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the text of the contract was not ready and the endorsement ceremony was postponed to this week.Pakistani Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Asim Hussain arrived in Tehran earlier this week to prepare the grounds for compiling the text of the contract and held meetings with several Iranian officials, including President Ahmadinejad.A delegation of Iranian oil industry experts also visited Islamabad early in November to discuss the agreement on the payment of a $250m loan to Pakistan to fund the project.In addition to the investment, Iran is also due to build the Pakistani part of the multi-billion-dollar pipeline.A special team has been set up in the Iranian oil ministry to specify the method of investment and credit line for the pipeline on Pakistan’s soil.The Pakistani government has on many occasions reiterated its resolve to push ahead with the $1.5 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project.According to the project proposal, the pipeline will begin from Iran’s Assalouyeh Energy Zone in the south and stretch over 1,100 km through Iran. In Pakistan, it will pass through Balochistan and Sindh but officials now say the route may be changed if China agrees to the project.

 
 
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