India, Iran discuss ways to enhance ties

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.

PTI



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

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