Iranian President starts maiden India visit on Thursday, expected to strengthen ties

Rouhani is slated to arrive at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad at around 4 PM.

Iranian President starts maiden India visit on Thursday, expected to strengthen ties

NEW DELHI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be on a two-day visit to India starting February 15. This will be Rouhani's maiden visit to India since he came to power in August 2013. 

The meeting is expected to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Rouhani is slated to arrive at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad at around 4 PM. Following this, he will address intellectuals and Muslim scholars at 6.30 PM.

On Saturday, he will be holding meetings with his Indian counterpart President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Later in the day, Rouhani will also be accorded a ceremonial reception.

The visit comes at a time when the US, under President Donald Trump, has kept Iran on tenterhooks with repeated threats of trade sanctions as well as threats to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement.

PM Modi had visited Iran in May 2016 and signed an agreement to develop the Chabahar port to boost regional and maritime links. His visit had marked the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in the past 15 years.

The visit had focused on connectivity and infrastructure, energy partnership with Tehran and boosting bilateral trade. It had helped in promoting regular consultations on peace and stability, particularly in the region and extended neighbourhood.

PM Modi's first tour to Iran had featured discussions on terrorism in the region as well as on India's desire to secure energy assets for a fast-growing economy. 

During the visit, the Prime Minister had also met Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Talks were held on security and peace issues between the Indian Prime Minister and Iranian President.

Developing connectivity, infrastructure and encouraging people to people contacts were the other priorities of the Prime Minister's visit to the Gulf nation.

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