Dhaka, January 26
India-Bangladesh talks on gas pipeline unlikely during
The issue surrounding the tri-partisan gas pipeline project
is not on the agenda of a talk involving Indian and Bangladeshi Prime Ministers
during the upcoming SAARC summit.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, or
SAARC, a summit including the region's leaders, will be held in Dhaka
on February 6-7.
Prime Minister Manmohon Singh is expected to talk
with his Bangladeshi counterpart Prime Minister Khaleda
Zia, on several bilateral issues during the SAARC
summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
However the issue of the area's tri-partisan gas pipeline
project didn't make it to the table, even though it is considered a serious
issue between the two neighboring countries, sources said.
"I don't think that it has reached that stage," Bangladesh
Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan on January 24 told
reporters in his office.
The energy ministers of Bangladesh,
India and Burma
recently informally agreed to have the trans-border pipeline, meant to export
gas from Burma
in the three nation's energy meeting held on January 12-13, in Burma's
capital of Rangoon.
said it would not sign the gas pipeline deal with India
unless it has a bilateral agreement with India
for the use of India's
territory for trans-trade.
wants to import hydro-electricity from Nepal
which would necessitate crossing into India's
territory and also hopes to use India's
territory as a trade corridor to supply commodities between Nepal,
Bhutan, and Bangladesh.
government does not currently allow its territory to be used as a trade
corridor for Bangladesh.
The two neighboring countries need several talks to come to
an agreement for the tri-partisan gas pipeline project, and the issue is
unlikely disappear from the upcoming two country's summit.
"All bilateral issues would be further discussed with India
in the upcoming SAARC summit," said the Bangladesh
energy minister in a press conference on January 15, but the tri-partisan gas
pipeline project is currently left off the table, one analyst said. #
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