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Iranian FM meets PM Modi, Jaishankar; talks focus on bilateral ties, connectivity

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New Delhi, Jun 08: Relations between India and Iran have mutually benefited both the countries and have promoted regional security and prosperity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called on him on Wednesday.

    Iran Foreign Minister meets PM Modi, EAM’s Jaishankar amid Prophet remarks row | Oneindia News *news
    Image credit: @narendramodi

    A statement by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said Modi stressed that both countries should work to accelerate exchanges in the post-Covid era.

    Abdollahian is on a three-day visit to India to further enhance bilateral ties.

    "Was happy to receive Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian for a useful discussion on further development of Centuries-old civilizational links between India and Iran. Our relations have mutually benefited both the countries and have promoted regional security and prosperity," the prime minister tweeted.

    Abdollahian called on Modi after holding wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

    The PMO said the two leaders discussed ongoing bilateral cooperation initiatives.

    "Welcoming the dignitary, the prime minister warmly recalled the long-standing civilizational and cultural links between India and Iran," it said.

    "The two leaders discussed ongoing bilateral cooperation initiatives. Prime Minister stressed that both countries should work to accelerate exchanges in the post-COVID era," the PMO said.

    It said Modi requested the Iranian foreign minister to also "transmit his greetings to His Excellency President Ebrahim Raisi, and looked forward to meeting the President of Iran at an early date".

    India, Iran hold wide-ranging talks; ink agreement on mutual legal assistance

    India and Iran on Wednesday held wide-ranging talks focusing on enhancing trade, connectivity and counter-terror cooperation even as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian raised the issue of controversial remarks on Prophet Mohammad made by two former BJP spokespersons.

    The crisis in Ukraine and the situation in Afghanistan were among the key issues that figured in the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Abdollahian who is on a three-day visit to India.

    The two sides also signed an agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters.

    The Iranian Foreign Minister also held talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the discussions centered around enhancing connectivity through the Chabahar port, boosting trade and investment ties and expansion of cooperation in education and research.

    There were no details from the Indian side on the meeting between Doval and Abdollahian. An Iranian readout said Abdollahian raised the issue of the "negative atmosphere" triggered by "disrespectful" comments on the Prophet and that the Indian side reiterated the Indian government's respect for the founder of Islam.

    It said Abdollahian praised the Indian people and the government for their respect for religions, especially for the Prophet.

    The readout mentioned that the Indian side in its response said that the defendants will be dealt appropriately. The readout said the Iranian foreign minister also referred to coexistence of various religions in India, besides mentioning the historical friendship between the followers of various religions in the country.

    The BJP on Sunday suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled the party's Delhi unit media head Naveen Jindal for allegedly making derogatory comments.

    Iran has been a key country for India in the Gulf region. The two sides have been jointly focusing on improving connectivity between South East Asia and Central Asia. At a connectivity conference in Tashkent last July, Jaishankar projected Iran's Chabahar Port as a key regional transit hub.

    Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran's southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost connectivity and trade ties. India has been in touch with Iran over the developments in Afghanistan following its takeover by the Taliban on August 15.

    The Iranian National Security Advisor had attended a regional conclave hosted by India in November on the Afghan crisis. The conclave was also attended by NSAs of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

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