India, Iran ink bilateral agreements on extradition, legal matters

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Tehran, Nov 3 : India and Iran inked bilateral treaties on the extradition of criminals and mutual assistance on legal matters on Sunday.

External affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Iranian Minster of Justice Ghulam Hussein Elham signed the treaty during the concluding session of the 15th Indo-Iran Joint Commission that was held almost after three years of the last one held in New Delhi in 2005.

"We have signed an extradition treaty and mutual legal assistance treaty in criminal matters. We have also finalized an initial text of the bilateral investment programme and protection agreement which we hope to sign very shortly," said Mukherjee during his second visit to Tehran this year.

Mukherjee termed these treaties as mechanisms, which would facilitate the expanding trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

He also said the discussions have led to an in-principle agreement to reach an accord on preferential trade agreement.

Further, he observed that the Joint Commission would be key to consolidating bilateral economic and cultural ties and maintain the momentum for future development.

Both the countries also signed an agreement on bilateral investment promotion and protection to facilitate trade and economic cooperation.

Mukherjee and Iranian Minister of Finance Shamsoddin Hosseini signed the final memorandum of understanding of the 15th Joint Commission meeting.

Apart from these treaties India and Iran also signed the Memorandum of Associations on Agriculture, Sister Port relationship, and memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India's Trade Promotion Organization and Iranian International Exhibition Company.

Earlier, on Saturday India and Iran agreed to institutionalize a trilateral ministerial mechanism with Pakistan to resolve the issues related to the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project.

According to the 14th Joint Commission held between the then Iran foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi and his Indian counterpart Natwar Singh, India and Iran were to conduct joint meeting every year.

But India's stand on Iran's nuclear programme and vote against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) brought about a rough patch between the two countries.

However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 's visit to India this year considerably improved relations between both the countries.

ANI

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