New Delhi: India and Iran must work together to further promote trade and economic links, increased people- to-people contacts between them and within the region, President Pranab Mukherjee has said.
Welcoming a Parliamentary delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said, "Throughout history, both countries have seen an inter-mingling of people and cultures."
Mukherjee said yesterday, "India and Iran have a strong bilateral economic relationship and it needs to further deepen for the benefit of peoples of both countries.
"We must work together to promote trade and economic links and increased people-to-people contacts between us and within the region."
The excellent bilateral relations between both countries have been strengthened through high-level exchanges and regular engagement through various dialogue mechanisms, he said, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement.
The President said Iran remains an important source of crude for India. "Presently, our bilateral trade is weighted in favour of Iran. Indian markets are open to Iranian exports. India hopes that Iran would source more goods from India," he said.
India and Iran, Mukherjee said, have a responsibility to address the challenges to region and the world like terrorism, energy security, food security, climate change, environment and natural disasters.
"Peace and stability in Afghanistan is a key to the progress in the region," Mukherjee said.
The President expressed happiness that India and Iran are engaged in regular exchange of information and views on the developments in Afghanistan.
India is actively engaged in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.
Dr Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis), leader of the delegation, said Iran looks forward to a strategic and long-term partnership with India.
"India and Iran come from same roots and their destinies are the same. A large area of cooperation is possible between the two countries," he said.