Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi hailed Tehran's "excellent ties" with New Delhi in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, as both sides examined ways to expand bilateral cooperation, state radio reported Thursday, April 12.
The radio quoted Kharazi as saying in the meeting Wednesday that Vajpayee's "historic" trip "has a special place in the two countries' excellent ties," adding that both nations could "play an important role in various regional and international fields."
The Iranian minister said the "common desires and views for a development and strengthening of security and stability on a regional and international level" were the "basis for a long-term cooperation" between both nations.
Both officials "expressed their desire for en expansion of cooperation in various fields," during the meeting which took place on the second day of Vajpayee's visit to Tehran, the first trip to Iran by an Indian prime minister since 1993.
"Cooperation between the two countries in the energy, industry, technology, trade and tourism sectors is extremely important and can lead to an economic development and flourishing in the region," the ministers stressed during the talks, according to the state radio.
Vajpayee for his part termed the two countries' "political will for a strengthening of cooperation" as "important."
The ministers also exchanged views on the Afghan crisis and underlined the need for talks between Afghanistan's warring factions in order to establish "calm and peace" in the country.
The Indian prime minister, who met with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami Monday when the two men signed several cooperation accords on energy, trade and customs, is due to see supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later on Thursday. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
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