India and Pakistanhave renewed their commitment to a pipeline that will supply Iranian gas totheir two countries and said they would pursue the project sincerely andseriously.
Washington, which accuses Tehran of developing a covert nuclear weaponsprogramme, has repeatedly sought to discourage Indiafrom the project.
New Delhi and Islamabad are in talkswith Tehran tobuy natural gas to be transported through an ambitious $7bn pipeline.
Washington says the deal could help fund Iran's alleged nuclear armsprogramme.
"Thetwo prime ministers discussed the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project andreaffirmed their commitment to sincerely and seriously pursue the project forits successful completion," a Pakistani statement said.
Thestatement followed talks between Shaukat Aziz, the Pakistani prime minister,and Manmohan Singh, his Indian counterpart, on Wednesday on the sidelines of aSouth Asian summit in New Delhi.
The twoleaders were satisfied with progress made in technical talks between officialsof the two countries, that have gone on for years, the statement said.
Thepipeline project, which aims to feed the growing energy needs of thesubcontinent, has made slow progress due to political tensions between Indiaand Pakistanand differences between New Delhiand Tehranover the latter's nuclear programme.
Washington wants India not to go ahead with theproject.
But New Delhi has stayed thecourse, despite voting against Iran'snuclear plans at global bodies. The three countries are expected to sign anagreement on pricing in June that will help the pipeline project take off.
Aziz saidthe pipeline would create "linkages and interdependencies" between Indiaand Pakistanand strengthen a slow peace process between the countries which have goneto war three times in the last 60 years."Thatis why this is more than just meeting the energy security needs of Indiaand Pakistan,"Aziz told a news conference.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16