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TAPI pipeline finance deal developing

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- An official source in Pakistan told The News International delegates to a pipeline from Turkmenistan may sign off on a finance deal as early as Thursday.

Representatives from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India are headed Thursday to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, to sign a transaction advisory services agreement. That would clear the way for the Asian Development Bank to find a company ready to form a consortium to find the money needed to build the $7.8 billion pipeline.

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"Yes, all the stakeholders have in principle agreed on all the contours broadly and once the transaction advisory services agreement is signed, the financial and technical issues would be resolved with ADB as [the] adviser," the source was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Pakistan and India would each get 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day while Afghanistan would get 500 million cubic feet per day from the pipeline from Turkmenistan, the News International reported.

TAPI is preferred by the U.S. government over a rival pipeline planned by Iran.

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