Rajnath Singh discusses bilateral ties, regional security with Iranian counterpart
Tehran, Sep 06: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said he had a "very fruitful" meeting with his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Amir Hatami and discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation and regional security issues, including Afghanistan.
Singh arrived in Tehran from Moscow on Saturday after concluding his three-day visit to Russia where he attended a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defence ministers.
He also held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Russia, China and the Central Asian countries. "Had a very fruitful meeting with Iranian defence minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami in Tehran. We discussed regional security issues including Afghanistan and the issues of bilateral cooperation," he said in a tweet.
"Both the Defence Ministers discussed ways to take forward bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional security issues, including peace and stability in Afghanistan," Singh's office said in a separate tweet. The meeting between the two ministers took place in a "cordial and warm atmosphere," it said, adding that the leaders emphasised upon the age-old cultural, linguistic and civilisational ties between India and Iran.
Last month, Iranian navy briefly seized control of a Liberian-flagged oil tanker in what the US said were international waters near the Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman to the south and the Arabian Sea beyond.
Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if the United States tries to strangle its economy.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations which accounts for almost 44 per cent of the world population stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea.
The aim of the SCO is to maintain peace, stability and security of the region.
Iran has observer status in the SCO, which was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005. Both the countries were admitted as full members of the bloc in 2017.