NEW DELHI: India and Iran can play a constructive and useful role in ensuring security in the region, especially in Afghanistan, newly-sworn-in Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday.
“Tehran welcomes New Delhi’s role in the establishment of security in Afghanistan. The fate of Afghanistan must be decided by Afghans themselves, and we believe if the Americans do not sabotage the situation, this issue will be resolved quickly,” the Iranian foreign office quoted the president as saying. This was the second meeting of the two leaders within a month after the Jiashankar met the Iranian President in Tehran while going to Moscow.
Raisi stressed that Iran holds special importance to boosting ties with India and said new steps must be taken to develop bilateral, regional and international relations with a new perspective. “There are various sectors, especially in economic and commercial fields, as well as new technologies, that we should use to promote the level of our relations,” he said.
India-Iran ties took a hit after New Delhi decided to stop import of oil from Tehran following sanctions by the US. Fissures also appeared in the relationship after Tehran commented on Kashmir. “By moving in the direction of a joint cooperation programme, we can take steps to bring about different conditions at the level of relations between the two countries in the interests of the two nations,” Raisi added.
Jaishankar, meanwhile, the Iranian Foreign Office said, assured Raisi that he would convey his views to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ensure maximissation of cooperation.
Af concern at UNsc
The United Nations Security Council, under India’s presidency, on Friday convened a meeting to discuss the Afghanistan situation. Afghanistan’s permanent representative to the UN, Ghulam Isaczai emphasised Pakistan’s support to the Taliban. “We urge Pakistan to remove Taliban supply line,” he said. The Afghan diplomat also highlighted the support Taliban was getting from terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba.
PM’s expansion message for Indian heads of mission
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually interacted with Indian heads of missions across the world to push his Local for Global initiative. “The government has taken a big decision on exports. Our exporters will now get a boost of `88,000 crore as insurance cover. Increasing WTO compliances in export incentives will further enhance our export ecosystem,” he said. Saying that the world is getting smaller with physical, technical and financial connectivity, Modi said it is time India expands its imports as there are new opportunities across the world.