March 24, 2018

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to start 3-day India visit from Hyderabad

15 February 2018, 05:39 | Taylor George

Hassan Rouhani praying at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad | AFP


Iran's relations with India are developing on a "positive, right track", President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday and that his visit would compliment Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 2016 trip to Tehran.

Hailing the "age-old" relations between Iran and India that are based on cultural and scientific interaction, the president said he is going to address Indian scholars to explicate Iran's foreign policies and will also meet some Muslim clerics of India.

After offering Friday prayers, Rouhani will address a congregation at the historic Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.

Top on the agenda of Rouhani's visit would be the completion of Iran's Chabahar port by India as well as discussions over a potential deal for Indian companies to develop an offshore gas field in Iran. But one of the most interesting engagements during the visit will be on Saturday evening in New Delhi when the Iranian President will participate in an event of the Indian Parsi community. The $500-million trilateral agreement signed between Iran, India and Afghanistan allows Indian goods to reach Afghanistan via the Iranian port without crossing Pakistan's territory.

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Rouhani will also have meetings with President Ram Nath Kovind and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The development of the strategically important Chabahar Port by India is also likely to be taken up. Both leaders will review the progress achieved in bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and worldwide issues of mutual interest. This is the second time Rouhani will be visiting Hyderabad, but it is his first visit after assuming charge as the president.

He is also scheduled to visit Salarjung Museum, famous for the world's largest one man collection of artefacts. He will leave for New Delhi on Friday, the people with the knowledge of the matter added.

During his visit, the Iranian President will talk about the latest regional and global developments with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders.

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