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Media Statement by Prime Minister during his visit to Iran
Your Excellency President Rouhani,
Friends,
Thank you,
Excellency for your warm and wise words.

I am also grateful to you for the gracious hospitality given to me and my delegation. On behalf of the 1.25 billion Indians, I extend warm greetings to the friendly people of Iran. Through ages, the beauty and richness of the Persian heritage has attracted the world to Iran. For me, visiting Iran, is indeed a great privilege.

Excellency,

India and Iran are not new friends. Our dosti is as old as history. Through centuries, our societies have stayed connected through art and architecture, ideas and traditions, and culture and commerce. As friends and neighbours, we have shared interest in each other’s growth and prosperity, and joys and sorrows. We can never forget that Iran was among the first countries to come forward in support when earthquake struck my state, Gujarat, in 2001. Similarly, India is proud to have stood with the people of Iran during your difficult times. I compliment the leadership of Iran for their far-sighted diplomacy.

Excellency,

We had last met in Ufa in 2015. Your leadership and the clarity of your vision have deeply impressed me. In our meeting today, we focused on the full range of our bilateral engagement. We exchanged views on the emerging regional situation and global issues of common concern. The agenda and scope of our partnership is truly substantial. The outcomes and agreements signed today open a new chapter in our strategic partnership. The welfare of our people is guiding our broad based economic ties. Expanded trade ties, deeper connectivity, including Railways partnerships in oil and gas sector fertilizers education and cultural sphere are driving our overall economic engagement. The bilateral agreement to develop the Chahbahar port and related infrastructure, and availability of about US$ 500 million from India for this purpose, is an important milestone. This major effort would boost economic growth in the region. We are committed to take steps for early implementation of the agreements signed today.

Friends,

Later today we are going to sign the trilateral Transport and Transit Agreement with participation of Iran, India and Afghanistan. It will be a historic occasion. It will open new routes for India, Iran and Afghanistan to connect among themselves. India and Iran also share a crucial stake in peace, stability and prosperity of the region. We also have shared concerns at the spread of forces of instability, radicalism and terror in our region. We have agreed to consult closely and regularly on combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime. We have also agreed to enhance interaction between our defence and security institutions on regional and maritime security.

Friends,

The past history of our ties has been rich. President Rouhani and I would leave no stone unturned to work for its glorious future. Our friendship will be a factor of stability in our region. Later today, I look forward to calling on His eminence the Hon’ble Supreme Leader to advance our ties further.

Excellency Rouhani,

I look forward to welcoming you in India to carry forward the agenda of our engagement Where we are now and where we could be is most beautifully said in a couplet from Ghalib. Let me end with it:

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??-???? ??-?? ????? ??? ??? ????

[Means: Once we make up our mind, the distance between Kaashi and Kaashan is only half a step]

I once again sincerely thank you, Excellency for inviting me to Iran.

I also thank you all.
May 23, 2016
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