PM Modi meets Hassan Rouhani, India, Iran sign pacts after 'substantive' talks

India Iran to work for stability in Afghanistan

Both countries also agreed to intensify and diversify the existing high-level engagement and made a decision to convene within this year the meeting of the India-Iran Joint Commission and all its working groups, Foreign Office Consultations as well as a dialogue between institutions on defence and national security of the two countries.

During his visit, both Iran and India will review the progress achieved in bilateral relations and also exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Before the meeting, the Iranian president had high-profile talks with his Indian counterpart Ram Nath Kovind.

In a repetition of the May 2016 statement, both sides urged an "immediate end to all support and sanctuaries enjoyed by terrorist groups and individuals and were of the view that States that aid, abet and directly or indirectly support terrorism should be condemned".

During his three-day visit to India, the Iranian leader, who faces the threat of reimposition of sanctions, focused on seeking Indian investments as he tries to shore up his country's economy.

Trade bodies of India including FICCI, PHD Chambers and ASSOCHAM and Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) also inked MoUs on the sidelines.

"Relations between India and Iran are far beyond trade and diplomatic". India and Iran are now engaged in trying to reach an agreement over India developing Iran's Farzad-B gas field. During the talks, Rouhani said "promotion of cooperation between Iran and India on regional issues could strengthen the pillars of stability and security across the region".

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The port in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich nation's southern coast is easily accessible from India's western coast and is increasingly seen as a counter to Pakistan's Gwadar Port, which is being developed with Chinese investment and is located at distance of around 80 km from Chabahar.

The Chabahar Port will give India a sea-land access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan, which has been playing spoilsport to initiatives for connectivity between South Asia and Central Asia. Indian and Iranian companies, engaged in discussions of the railway line construction "were tasked to finalise the technical parameters and financing options for the project in a time bound manner", the joint statement said.

"The two Leaders agreed on the deepening trade and investment cooperation between the two countries".

Modi welcomed Rouhani as "an Iranian president visiting after 10 years".

Backing New Delhi's quest for a permanent seat in the UNSC, Rouhani asked why India, a nation with population of 1.3 billion, was not a member of the powerful club.

The Iranian leader used the occasion to underscore the USA control over his country.

Rouhani said, "The kindness accorded to us by the great government of India, I once again thank the people and the government of India for this".

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