Indian PM to Visit Iran Next Month
Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is visiting Iran on April 10, the first prime ministerial visit to that country in nearly eight years, reported Times of India on Thursday.
The agenda of the visit and the delegation accompanying the Prime Minister are yet to be announced, said the daily on its Internet edition, but quoted an external affairs ministry spokesman as saying the talks will extend “the entire canvass'' of bilateral relations.
The four-day visit will be first by an Indian prime minister since P V Narasimha Rao visited Teheran in 1993. Iran's then president Akbar Hashmi Rafsanjani visited Delhi in April 1995, when a series of agreements were signed between the countries.
Contacts between the two Asian countries have been regular, at a lower level, said the paper.
In 1996, then Vice-President K R Narayanan traveled to Iran. The two foreign ministers have taken bilateral trips, and the two countries have met at the sidelines of the millennium UN summit last year.
Vajpayee also met Iranian President Syed Mohammad Khatami at the Non-Alignment Movement summit in Durban in 1998.
According to the paper, the highlight in India-Iran relations in recent years has been the signing of an agreement on the construction of a pipeline, running through Pakistan, to bring crude to India.
Indian imports from Iran run into over $1 billion a year. In contrast, Indian exports total $165 million, according to the report – Albawaba.com
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