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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to meet PM Modi on Saturday, trade ties on agenda

With a call for unity among Muslims across the world, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday wound up the first leg of his India visit.  

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to meet PM Modi on Saturday, trade ties on agenda
Pic courtesy: Reuters

New Delhi: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Friday arrived in the national capital after a two-day visit to Hyderabad.

Accompanied by ministers and senior officials, Rouhani had landed in Hyderabad on Thursday on a three-day visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rouhani visited the tombs of Qutub Shahi rulers in Golconda area in the city. These monuments are popularly known as seven tombs and are built in Iranian architecture style.

He later offered prayers at historic Makkah Masjid in the old city. This was his second visit to Hyderabad and the first after assuming charge as the president of Iran.

Addressing the congregation after the prayers, he said unity among Shias, Sunnis and other Islamic denominations was the only solution to the problems faced by the Muslim world.

Rouhani urged Muslims to treat all human beings with love and affection in the true spirit of Islam.

He 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.

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)