EAM Dr S Jaishankar calls on new Iran President-elect, discusses Afghanistan with counterpart

New Delhi: India’s external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar, on Wednesday (July 7, 2021), made a halt en route to Moscow. During the brief stopover, Jaishankar held a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and also called on Iran’s President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi. Jaishakar is the first foreign minister to meet the new president of Iran, who was elected last month.

During his meeting with the Iranian President-elect, he handed over a personal message from Indian PM Narendra Modi. In a tweet after the meet, Indian EAM said, “Deeply value his strong commitment to strengthen our bilateral ties and expand cooperation on regional and global issues.”

Afghanistan was one of the key topics of discussion during his meet with Zarif, this comes even as the Taliban makes territorial gains in the country. “The two sides also stressed the need to strengthen intra-Afghan dialogue in Afghanistan which leads to a comprehensive political solution,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Interestingly, hours before Jaishankar reached Tehran, Iran hosted Intra-Afghan talks. The talks saw the presence of both Taliban and Afghan government representatives. While the Afghan government’s delegation was headed by Yunus Qanuni, the former foreign minister of Afghanistan, the Taliban was led by Abbas Stanikzai.

“Referring to the ongoing talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Tehran, the Indian Foreign Minister thanked Iran for its efforts to bring the two sides closer to a comprehensive political solution”, the Iranian foreign ministry statement read.

During the talks, Vienna talks about the JCPOA or the Iran nuclear deal and cooperation in Chabahar port was also discussed. Iran’s Chabahar port has been a key connectivity project that New Delhi has been invested in as it provides connectivity not only to Afghanistan but also to central Asia.

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