We do not need US' guidance: India

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New Delhi, Apr 22: In a clear snub to the US for commenting on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's upcoming visit to New Delhi, India today said it did not need any guidance on the future conduct of relations with other countries.

''Both nations (India and Iran) are perfectly capable of managing all aspects of their relationship with the appropriate degree of care and attention,'' a spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry said in response to a question. He said it was important that the genius of each nation living in a particular region was respected and allowed to flower to meet the expectations of enriching relations with neighbours.

The spokesman said the government's attention had been drawn to a comment made by the US State Department concerning the visit of President Ahmadinejad to India on April 29.

''India and Iran are ancient civilisations whose relations span centuries. Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral relations as both believe that engagement and dialogue alone lead to peace,'' he said.

He said the situation in the region had always drawn the attention of both the nations and it could be seen perfectly well that these had been managed through continuous dialogue and exchange of delegations at various levels.

State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey had told reporters in Washington that India should talk tough with Iran during President Ahmadinejad's visit to New Delhi, particularly on Tehran's nuclear programme, Iraq and its alleged support for terrorism.

''We would hope that the Indian government, or any government that was engaging with the Iranians, including with President Ahmadinejad, would call on him to meet the requirements that the UN Security Council and the international community had placed on him in terms of suspending their uranium enrichment activities and complying with other requirements regarding their nuclear programme,'' the State Department spokesman said.

The Iranian President will arrive in India on a brief visit on April 29 and have talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on issues of mutual interest.

This will be the first visit to India by an Iranian Head of State in five years.

The talks will focus on the multi-billion Dollar energy projects between the two countries, including the 2600 km Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline.

The Iranian President who will be flying en route to Tehran from Colombo, will also call on President Pratibha Patil.


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