India, Iran to step up fight against terrorism, drug trafficking in Afghanistan

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi by his side after a two-hour bilateral meeting on Saturday, the visiting President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, said with a smile that they "did not disagree on a even a single topic" on all bilateral, regional and worldwide issues.

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

Under the agreement signed between India and Iran in May 2016, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of United States dollars 85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of USD 22.95 million on a 10-year lease.

"We both will work for restoring peace, stability, prosperity and a pluralistic system in Afghanistan", Modi said after holding talks with Rouhani in New Delhi on the final day of Rouhani's three-day visit.

Besides his official engagements in Delhi, President Rouhani will also visit Hyderabad.

For better cultural exchange, both sides agreed to grant e-visa facility to travellers.

The foreign minister of India also emphasised that her country was determined to cement relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields.

India and Iran on Saturday expressed interest in enhancing cooperation possibilities in the maritime domain.

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Recalling the Iraq-Iran war, Rouhani said Saddam Hussain, the former president of Iraq, who ruled the country with an iron fist, reneged on the commitment made between the two countries and borders, which resulted in a devastating war.

Rouhani, calling India-Iran ties historic, thanked Modi for his hospitality.

Chabahar is India's first major overseas port venture and is seen as a counter to China's development of the Gwadar port in Pakistan.

In his comments to reporters, Rouhani said Iran was "fully ready" to intensify cooperation in the areas of energy.

Calling for efforts to facilitate visa restrictions for Iranian and Indian travelers, she also emphasized that development of Iran's southeastern port city of Chabahar would benefit the region, including the people of India and Afghanistan.

Delegation-level talks between India and Iran is underway at the Hyderabad House here on Saturday. According to New Delhi, Iran has shifted the goalposts several times since the start of negotiations on the deal in 2007.

Rouhani said India and Iran were the cradles of the great Asian civilization. We had consensus. We could combat extremism and terrorism.

  • Sonia Alvarado