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New Delhi, July 5

INDIA has asked Bangladesh to participate in the meeting between India and Myanmar on the proposed gas pipeline project, the Petroleum Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, has said.

Mr Aiyar and the Myanmar Energy Minister, Brig General Lun Thi, will meet here on July 6 to discuss the issue of transporting gas from Myanmar.

India wants a Bangladeshi representative to participate in the meeting, which is essentially a bilateral meet between India and Myanmar. Bangladesh has been demanding that the natural gas pipeline issue be linked with other issues such as allowing trade with Nepal and Bhutan, on which India has responded positively.

The draft MoU between the three countries could not be approved due to certain issues raised by Bangladesh, resulting in delay in the pipeline project.

Meanwhile, Myanmar wanted its gas to reach Indian markets at the earliest and wanted other issues of transporting gas such as CNG or LNG to be explored.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2005)
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