July 7, 2021 11:38:51 pm
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Wednesday handed over a personal message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran as he made a stopover at the Iranian capital on his way to Russia.
Jaishankar said he also held “useful” discussions on regional and global issues with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. It is understood that the situation in Afghanistan figured prominently in the talks.
“Thank President-elect Ebrahim Raisi for his gracious welcome. Handed over a personal message from PM @narendramodi. Appreciate his warm sentiments for India,” Jaishankar tweeted.
“Deeply value his strong commitment to strengthen our bilateral ties and expand cooperation on regional and global issues,” he added.
Raisi, the head of Iran’s judiciary and known to be close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won last month’s presidential election by a landslide.
“Always a warm welcome from FM @JZarif. Useful discussion on regional and global affairs,” Jaishankar said after his meeting with Zarif.
Iranian media reported that the two Foreign Ministers stressed on the need to strengthen intra-Afghan dialogue that could result in a comprehensive political partnership in Afghanistan.
Iran Wednesday hosted an intra-Afghan dialogue and the Afghan delegation at the talks was headed by Yunus Qanuni, the former foreign minister of Afghanistan. The Taliban delegation was headed by the deputy head of Taliban’s political office Shir Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, according to the IRNA news agency.
Along with Russia, Iran has been playing a major role in the Afghan peace process that has witnessed a renewed momentum in the wake of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, a process that’s expected to end by September 11.
Afghanistan has witnessed a series of terror attacks and attempts by the Taliban to expand its territorial control over the last few weeks, triggering concerns among several key stakeholders.
It is learnt that Jaishankar and Zarif also deliberated on the situation in the Gulf region and the prospect of the Vienna talks in reviving the Iran nuclear deal and the Chabahar port project.
Jaishankar is paying a three-day visit to Russia to discuss the entire range of bilateral issues as well as key regional and international developments.
Sources said his visit is aimed at preparing the ground for the annual India-Russia summit and discussing the situation in Afghanistan.
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