Indian DM in Tehran to Discuss Bilateral Ties , Regional Security
IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK
TEHRAN – Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has visited Tehran where he held “very fruitful” talks his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Amir Hatami, saying they exchanged views on regional security and bilateral ties.
In a tweet on Sunday, Singh posted pictures of his meeting with Hatami in Tehran, saying the two sides had also discussed the situation in Afghanistan.
In another tweet, the Indian defense minister’s office said the meeting between Singh and Hatami took place in “a cordial and warm atmosphere,” adding both officials “emphasized upon the age-old cultural, linguistic and civilizational ties between India and Iran.”
Singh traveled to Tehran after concluding his three-day visit to Moscow, where he held talks with his counterparts from Russia, China and the Central Asian states.
Singh on Sunday said he discussed with his Iranian counterpart ways to bolster bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional security issues, including the situation in Afghanistan.
Singh reached Tehran from Moscow on Saturday on a transit halt after concluding his three-day visit to Russia where he attended a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) defense ministers. He also held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Russia, China and the Central Asian countries.
“Had a very fruitful meeting with Iranian defense minister Brigadier General Hatami in Tehran. We discussed regional security issues including Afghanistan and the issues of bilateral cooperation,” he said in a tweet.
“Both the Defense Ministers discussed ways to take forward bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional security issues, including peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Singh’s office said in a separate tweet on the meeting held on Saturday at the request of the Iranian defense minister.
The meeting between the two ministers took place in a “cordial and warm atmosphere,” it said, adding that the leaders emphasized upon the age-old cultural, linguistic and civilizational ties between India and Iran.
Singh’s visit to Iran is considered to be significant as it came a day after he voiced India’s deep concern about the situation in the Persian Gulf and called upon the countries in the region to resolve their differences through dialogue based on mutual respect.
A series of incidents in the Persian Gulf involving Iran, the U.S. and the UAE in recent weeks have flared up tension in the region.
“We are deeply concerned about the situation in the Persian Gulf,” Singh said in his address at a meeting of the SCO in Moscow on Friday.
“We call upon countries in the region – all of which are dear and friendly to India, to resolve differences by dialogue based on mutual respect, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of each other,” he said in his address at the combined meeting of defense ministers of the SCO, Collective Security Treaty Organization and Commonwealth of Independent States member states.
India-Iran commercial ties were traditionally dominated by Indian import of Iranian crude oil. In 2018-19 India imported USD 12.11 billion worth of crude oil from Iran.
However, following the end of the Significant Reduction Exemption (SRE) period on May 2, 2019, India has suspended importing crude from Iran, according to the Indian Embassy here.