India, Iran discuss ways to enhance ties
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Last Updated: Monday, May 17, 2010, 20:23
Tehran: India and Iran today discussed ways to enhance ties, particularly in trade, as External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki here.

Krishna, who is here to attend the G-15 Summit, and Mottaki held a detailed exchange of views on bilateral relations during the 25-minute meeting, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash told reporters.

"They had a very good, friendly and useful meeting," Prakash said about the discussions.

Both leaders noted with satisfaction that regular high level exchanges were imparting momentum to bilateral relationship, he said.

The two sides, he said, were looking forward to the 16th Indo-Iran Joint Commission Meeting to be held in New Delhi shortly.

The last JCM, which discussed in details cooperation in specified areas like energy and trade, was held in Tehran in October-November 2008.

India's bilateral trade with Iran touched USD 14 billion last year and is expected to grow in coming years. Iran is India's third largest crude oil supplier.

Krishna and Mottaki also exchanged views on global economic and financial situation.

The Minister also conveyed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's good wishes to the leaders and friendly people of Iran.

"He (Krishna) congratulated Iran on successful stewardess of the G-15 Summit and successful holding and conclusion of the Summit meeting," the spokesman said.

Krishna also had a "pull-aside" meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduo Moros during which the two leaders discussed the growing ties in fields like pharmaceutical, hydrocarbons and automobiles and components.

Venezuela is assuming greater importance in India's scheme for achieving energy security.

While it looks at sourcing cheaper heavy, high sulphur crude oil from Venezuela, its flagship ONGC Videsh Ltd last week signed agreements to develop a USD 20 billion oil project in the prolific Carabobo region of the Latin American nation.

Next Indo-Venezuela JCM is scheduled to be held in New Delhi, dates of which will be finalized through diplomatic channels, the spokesman said.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister admired economic development of India and welcomed Indian investment and closer collaboration.

Indo-Venezuela bilateral trade touched USD 4 billion in 2008 before marginally dipping last year because of global economic crisis.

Moros invited Krishna to visit Caracas, which the Indian minister accepted.

Krishna also held bilateral meeting with Deputy Prime and Minister and Foreign Minister of Belarus and Indonesian Minister for Industry.


First Published: Monday, May 17, 2010, 20:23

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