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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrives in India; trade ties on agenda

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is expected to hold talks on trade and connectivity with PM Modi.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrives in India; trade ties on agenda
Pic courtesy: PTI

Hyderabad/New Delhi: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Hyderabad on Thursday for a three-day India trip during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He was received by Union Minister of State for Power RK Singh and Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan at the Begumpet airport in Hyderabad.

Rouhani is expected to hold talks on trade and connectivity, including the strategically-important Chabahar port with PM Modi.

The two sides are also looking at inking a number of pacts in several key areas apart from exploring the scope of cooperation in fields such as health and traditional medicine during the visit, which is part of India's continued regional engagement, official sources said, as per PTI.

Rouhani is accompanied by ministers of foreign affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, petroleum Bijan Zangeneh, road and urban development Mohammad Akhundi and industry Mohammad Shariatmadari, as per reports. A large delegation of businessmen are also said to be part of the President's delegation.

During PM Modi's bilateral visit to Iran in 2016, nearly a dozen pacts were signed between the two countries.

The Trilateral Transit Agreement (Chabahar Agreement) was also signed by transport ministers of India, Iran and Afghanistan in the presence of PM Modi, Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

The contract entails capital investment of USD 85 million by India for equipping Chabahar port in southeastern Iran. "Today, we are witnessing a creation of history... Not just for the people of our three countries, but for the entire region,” PM Modi had said at that time.

"The agenda for economic engagement is a clear priority for us. We stand together in unity of our purpose," he had added.

On his part, President Rouhani had said that through this agreement, Tehran, Delhi and Kabul have sent the message that the path of progress can be achieved through cooperation and utilisation of regional resources.

India and Iran have robust economic and commercial ties covering many sectors though it has traditionally been dominated by the import of Iranian crude oil by India.

According to the External Affairs Ministry, India-Iran bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2016-17 was USD 12.89 billion. India imported USD 10.5 billion worth of goods, mainly crude oil and exported commodities worth USD 2.4 billion.

(With PTI inputs)