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US encourages India to diversify energy
The US is trying to help New Delhi find alternative sources of supply as it grapples with rising oil prices due to sanctions on Iranian supplies.
"We are working with countries around the world to encourage them to diversify supply away from Iranian crude," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Wednesday when asked about the impact of Iran sanctions on India.
"This isn't just about India. It's about a whole list of countries who we are trying, in the first instance, to help find alternative sources of supply, to work through what their options might be," she said.
Nuland also welcomed the signing of an agreement for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline as "a perfect example of energy diversification, energy integration, done right".
"We consider it a very positive step forward and sort of a key example of what we're seeking with our New Silk Road Initiative, which aims at regional integration to lift all boats and create prosperity across the region."
The US, she said, had offered to be supportive "politically, and we stand by to be supportive in other ways if asked".
Asked why the US was opposed to the Iran-Pakistan pipeline when it was so positive on TAPI, Nuland said: "The other pipeline, as just to be clear, goes to an unreliable partner who is not complying with its international obligations with Iran."
"Our concern has to do with investing in a country that that we have concerns is spending its money not on its people but on dangerous technology and weapons."