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Indian Petroleum Minister to visit Bangladesh for Tri-Nation Gas Pipeline

From Narinjara News
8/26/2005 to this article

Mani Shankar Aiyar, Indian minister for petroleum, is set to arrive in Dhaka on September 5th for a two-day visit to discuss the proposed $1 billion tri-nation gas pipeline project which will connect Burma and India through Bangladesh.

"He is coming to Dhaka at the invitation of Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan," Foreign Secretary Hemayetuddin told The Daily Star, a popular English language newspaper in Bangladesh.

Aiyar was due to arrive on August 27th, but his arrival has been delayed following extension of the parliament session in India.

He also had discussions on Monday with Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh, regarding India's course for breaking the apparent impasse over the proposed tri-nation gas pipeline.

The discussion cleared Aiyar's visit to Dhaka for a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh and Burma which was delayed due to some bilateral issues.

Bangladesh agreed to allow the gas pipeline through its territory but Bangladesh is demanding India allow parts of its territory to be used for transporting goods to Nepal and Bhutan, and for importing power from these countries and reducing the $2.5 billion trade imbalance with India.

Bangladesh urged India to solve the problems hindering exports to India when Indian External Affairs Minister visited Dhaka earlier this month.

Besides the tri-nation gas pipeline, the Indian Petroleum Minister will discuss with his counterparts of Bangladesh energy issues and other bilateral issues between India and Bangladesh while in Dhaka.


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