PM Modi lauds Rouhani for helping India develop Chabahar port

Iranian Presidency President Hassan Rouhani is on a three day visit to India

Rouhani is to meet on Saturday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. After spending two days in Hyderabad basking in the state's cultural diversity and religious ties with Iran, Rouhani received a warm welcome in New Delhi. He is the first Iranian President to have visited the Mecca Masjid.

"Both leaders held substantive & productive discussion on cooperation in trade & investment, energy, connectivity, defence & security & regional issues", external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The port's strategic importance for India grew further after Pakistan handed over the control of its Gwadar Port to China.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani concluded his 3-day India visit by signing 9 deals with the host country.

Pradhan said India had also sought a stake in Iran's South Azadegan oil field. There are significant trade ties, particularly in crude oil imports into India and diesel exports to Iran. "There are expansive capacities for the development and deepening of Iran and India's relations, which should all be seized upon more than ever toward the interests of and creating a better future for the nations and the region", he said.

Earlier, he said that relations between two countries go beyond trade and business. "Those who had atomic bombs were given veto rights", Rouhani said, emphasising on having ethics in foreign policy as against military might.

After independence from Britain in August 1947, India and Iran briefly became neighbors with hundreds of kilometers of shared borders.

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"It was also agreed to set up a Joint Committee of officials to examine feasible options, including Rupee-Rial Arrangement, Asian Clearing Union mechanism to establish functional payment channels", it said.

He offered Rouhani New Delhi's support to build a rail link from Chabahar to Zahedan on Iran-Afghanistan border to realize the full potential of the port.

He thanked Iran for helping develop Chabahar port, which opens the transit route for India to Afghanistan and Central Asia bypassing Pakistan.

China is now developing Gwadar port, in Pakistan, which also gives China a way into Africa.

"We want to expand connectivity, cooperation in the energy sector and the centuries-old bilateral relationship".

President Rouhani made the remarks in a special ceremony for signing and exchange of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries during which he expressed satisfaction with the current level of cooperation between the two sides.

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