TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani began a landmark visit to India on Thursday heading a ranking diplomatic and economic delegation. <link> <link> link> <link>The Iranian president left Tehran for India’s Hyderabad on Thursday morning for the official 3-day trip aimed at strengthening the bilateral ties and reciprocating a visit two years ago by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rouhani is accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari, as well as top officials of the presidential office.
Speaking to reporters at the Mehrabad Airport in Tehran, Rouhani said he will have meetings with the president and prime minister of India , adding that a number of cooperation agreements will be also signed between the state-run sectors, business people and entrepreneurs of the two countries.
Hailing the “age-old” relations between Iran and India that are based on cultural and scientific interaction, the president said he is going to address Indian scholars to explicate Iran’s foreign policies and will also meet some Muslim clerics of India .
According to Rouhani, negotiations on closer cooperation in the economic, cultural and technological areas, as well as plans on the development of Iran’s southeastern port city of Chabahar, will be on the agenda in the official visit, made at the invitation of the Indian premier.
The Iranian president landed in Begumpet Airport of Hyderabad, capital of India’s southern state of Telangana, later in the day.
Indian sources have quoted the South Asian country’s Ministry of External Affairs as saying that Rouhani and Modi will “review the progress achieved in bilateral relations and also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest."
In an official visit to Tehran in May 2016, Modi signed a number of agreements, and held a meeting with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.