India, Iran jointly call for end to terror sanctuaries

Tehran/New Delhi, Dec 23: Strongly raising their shared concern about the grave threat of terrorism, Iran and India in a bilateral meeting on Monday jointly called for an immediate end to all support to terror sanctuaries.

During the 19th Session of the India-Iran joint commission held in Tehran, India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, and Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, agreed that state aid, abetment and support to terrorism should be condemned.

A statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said the two countries have agreed to hold an early meeting of the joint working group on trade and finalise preferential trade agreement, bilateral investment treaty, and promote cooperation in customs matters to strengthen bilateral trade and commerce.

India and Iran also decided to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bilateral treaty of friendship in 2020. As a part of the programme, exchanges between parliamentarians, cultural festivals and people-to-people contact will be promoted.

After reviewing bilateral cooperation, including connectivity, trade and commerce, cultural and people-to-people contacts, the two sides gave a positive assessment of the progress.

Expressing satisfaction with the operationalisation of the Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, the ministers agreed that it has a potential to act as a gateway between the Indian subcontinent, Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe.

The port has been utilised for exports from Afghanistan and will be promoted for wider regional connectivity, trade and transit.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. Both sides expressed support for efforts to maintain peace, security and stability in the region. The allies agreed to use humanitarian approach in dealing with issues related to fishermen and sea-fearers.

During his visit, Jaishankar called on President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, and also met Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary, Supreme National Security Council, and Minister for Roads and Urban Development, Mohammad Eslami.