Ahmadinejad convenes Peace Pipeline panel

June 4, 2008 at 6:34 PM
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TEHRAN, June 4 (UPI) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad convened a committee of energy officials to negotiate transit fees on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

Iranian petroleum ministers told the Pakistani Daily Times that Iranian officials hope to end the deadlock over the transit fees within the next 45 days.

India offered a transit fee of 15 cents per million British thermal units of gas, but Pakistani officials said they wanted 60 cents. Officials from both countries said April 26 the matter would be resolved in 10 days, but reached no further agreements since.

Pakistani officials also rejected a fixed transit fee proposed by Indian energy ministers, saying transit fees should be pegged to international gas prices.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials Tuesday told the Times that Pakistan and Iran had agreed to sign a gas sales purchase agreement on the pipeline by the end of May, but that too was shelved for an additional 45 days.

Iran and Pakistan, however, have agreed to a draft gas sales agreement that includes consideration on the gas price revision.

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