Wednesday, April 18, 2012 -
Two days of talks between Afghanistan and India failed on Tuesday to reach an agreement on transit fees for the proposed TAPI pipeline.
Pakistan hosted the three-way talks in Islamabad.
The more than 1,000-mile Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline will pump Turkmen gas through Afghanistan to Pakistan and on to India.
Failure by Afghanistan and India to agree stymied a gas transit deal between Pakistan and India, as their fee structures are linked.
The three agreed in earlier talks that Pakistan will charge India the same fee that Afghanistan will charge India and Pakistan.
At the close of negotiations, the Afghanistan and India were unable to close a gap of just three U.S. cents per million British Thermal Units (mmBTU), the Islamabad-based Dawn.com media outlet reported.
The Afghan team started negotiations at 54 U.S. cents per mmBTU and dropped to 50 U.S. cents, but declined to go below that amount. India began at 44 U.S. cents and rose to 47 U.S. cents.
Talks were called off when the Indian team said they were not mandated to agree anything above 47 U.S. cents.
The two parties agreed to meet in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat on May 6 for another round of negotiations with the mediation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is financially supporting construction of the $7.6 billion project.