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`India-Iran should have close ties`

Contemporary world situation calls for cooperation between India and Iran, Ahmadinejad said.

Tehran: Contemporary world situation calls for close cooperation between India and Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday, adding both countries "should not neglect the present opportunities to replace the dying big powers".

Iran and India should stay together because of their cultural ties as well as the situation in the region and the world, he told Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here on the sidelines of the G-15 meet.

All these call for close cooperation between the two countries, the president said.

"Iran and India should build upon their common views in building up new systems for the future of the world," the president said.

Both the countries "should not neglect the present opportunities to replace the dying big powers", he was quoted as saying by the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Closer ties between Iran and India will benefit other countries as well because Tehran and New Delhi have always sought peace and security for the region and the world, he added.

The Indian minister said Iran and India were two developing countries which had to make the best of their potentials.

Describing the G-15 meeting as "successful and effective", Krishna appreciated Iran`s efforts for successfully holding the event.

On Monday, Krishna met his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki and discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties.

Ties between Tehran and New Delhi had come under a strain last year. India had stuck to its opposition of Iran`s nuclear weapons by voting for a resolution in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), rapping Tehran for building a secret enrichment plant.

G-15, a forum of developing countries, now comprises 18 countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Besides India and Iran, the other members are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Jamaica, Mexico, Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.


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