Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday his country would welcome China's participation in the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

"The IPI gas pipeline agreement will soon be finalized and my government will also welcome the inclusion of China in the project," Ahmadinejad said during a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani in Islamabad.

He said that ministers in his entourage also held talks with their Pakistani counterparts to discuss ways and means for cooperation. He hoped that all matters relating to the IPI would soon be finalized, the News Network International news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad said Tehran would extend its cooperation in the field of food and energy sectors besides the promotion of trade and economic ties.

Gillani said Pakistan was keen to promote bilateral relations with Iran in all fields. He also stressed the need for enhancing cooperation in the field of energy and called for an early materialization of the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline agreement.

Ahmadinejad paid a short visit to Pakistan on the first leg of his visit to South Asia which will also take him to Sri Lanka and India.

Pakistan and India on Friday resolved their difference on the transit fee of the IPI gas pipeline project, according to the official Associated Press of Pakistan.

Copyright 2008 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.