Tehran, Feb 17 (ANI): Pakistani leaders have assured Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that they would go ahead with the gas pipeline and electricity import projects despite international sanctions on Tehran.
Although he couldn't get a firm timetable for making the energy projects operational, he appeared to have been satisfied with pledges of speeding them up and, in return, offered to enhance bilateral trade to ten billion dollars in a couple of months, The Dawn reports.
"The President (Asif Ali Zardari) reiterated commitment for expeditious implementation of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, 1,000MW electricity transmission line and 100MW Gwadar power supply," a statement issued by the presidency said.
Referring to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's meeting with Ahmadinejad, the PM's Office press release said: "Both leaders agreed to pursue the energy projects including electricity and gas on fast-track basis. They also discussed the status of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline."
Iran has been worried that Pakistan could abandon the gas pipeline and electricity import agreements under pressure from the West because of sanctions, and has been seeking categorical assurances from Islamabad about its continued commitment to the projects.
In the meetings at the presidency and prime minister's house, the two sides discussed ways of enhancing bilateral trade, including proposals for currency swap, barter trade, removing tariff and non-tariff barriers and improved border coordination for facilitating businessmen.
The statement from the presidency said: "President Zardari proposed for considering encouraging barter and trading in local currencies between the two countries besides removing tariff and non-tariff barriers." (ANI)
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