Rouhani meets Modi, Kovind; connectivity, energy talks on agenda

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the Qutub Shahi tomb at Ibrahim Bagh in Hyderabad on Friday. He is on a three-day visit to India

India and Iran sign nine pacts, Modi praises Hassan Rouhani for helping develop Chabahar Port

The spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar in a tweet listed the areas which were discussed by both leaders.

The two sides also reached agreement in other sectors such as commercial and preferential tariffs, expansion of banking relations, issuance of electronic visa and easing of commuting by the two sides' nationals which will leave positive impacts in the region, he said.

Addressing India's strong bond with Iran, PM Narendra Modi said, "We want to increase connectivity and trade".

President Kovind said that India and Iran are age-old friends.

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The two sides are now determined to protect and even broaden the scope of such historical relations, President Rouhani said. They also called upon the countries in the region to come forward for enhancing regional connectivity and take steps to do away with the obstacles on land transit.

India had for the current fiscal cut oil imports from Iran by almost 25 per cent over delays in award of Farzad-B development rights to OVL. "Your leadership and clarity in vision has immensely helped in developing the Chabahar port", Modi said. The two countries are also looking forward to boosting cooperation in key areas of security, trade and energy.

Modi, for his part, said many obstacles had been removed from the way of expanding bilateral economic relations, prompting many mutual investment projects to bear fruit and accelerating the trend of growth in mutual ties.

The lease contract for Shahid Beheshti Port - Phase 1 of Chabahar - was signed between Port and Maritime Organization of Iran and India Ports Global Limited.

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"We want to see our region and the world free from terrorism". The deal was signed during the Prime Minister's visit to Tehran set the stage for India investing $85.21 million for development and operation of two terminals and five berths of the port in Iran, with cargo handling capacities for 10 years.

Another pact was the "Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on Income" to "avoid burden of double taxation between the two countries in order to promote flow of investment and services".

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. In their latest round of talks, Rouhani and Modi expressed their respective countries' preparedness for the enhancement of the relations at the Indian prime minister's Hyderabad House in the Indian capital, indicating a return to the height of relations in the early 2000s and a possible crafting of a strategic relationship between the two nations.

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