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India Keen  on Regional Discourse
National

India Keen on Regional Discourse

The Indian prime minister has expressed support for Iran's stance toward Afghanistan and Syria, saying New Delhi is keen to hold regular consultations with Tehran with a view to helping promote peace and stability in the region.
Narendra Modi made the statements in a Friday meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was on an official visit to India, ISNA reported.  
The two sides discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views on regional and international issues.
Zarif's visit was the first trip by an Iranian minister after the country reached a historic agreement on its nuclear program with world powers last month.  
Modi said India is prepared for an early meeting of the joint economic commission, citing the development of the Port of Chabahr and the construction of a railroad to Central Asia as key areas for cooperation.   
Pointing to his recent meeting with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS summits in the Russian city of Ufa in June, Modi noted that the two sides reached "positive" conclusions.
"I was impressed by the constructive atmosphere of the meeting and his (Rouhani's) resolve on new decisions."
The Iranian minister congratulated Modi on the 68th anniversary of India's independence and conveyed to him the greetings of President Rouhani.
Zarif said in the new atmosphere that has emerged after the nuclear deal, the stage is now set for the two countries to take more significant steps to enhance bilateral ties.
He stressed that the nuclear accord will have positive effects on regional developments by promoting dialogue and replacing war and instability with diplomacy.  
The top diplomat, who arrived in India on Thursday evening, also met other senior Indian officials, including Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.  

  Pak Ties
Prior to his visit to India, the foreign minister went to Pakistan on Thursday and met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who called for enhanced bilateral ties in energy, oil, fuel, electricity, banking and trade.  
The two sides also conferred on the latest regional developments, especially in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan.  
Zarif met with others Pakistani officials, including Sartaj Aziz, a leading adviser on foreign policy at the foreign ministry.

  Scourge of Terror
Zarif travelled to Syria on Wednesday for talks with President Bashar al-Assad.
The two sides said the countries in the region and beyond need to be aware that the "cancerous tumor of terrorism" should not be allowed to determine the future of nations.  
They called on all parties involved in the Syrian crisis to coordinate their efforts to help find an inclusive solution based on realities to put an end to the activities of terrorist groups.  
Pointing to the nuclear accord, Assad said the deal showed that "steadfastness" and "resolve" are the best ways to preserve a nation's interests.
Zarif called for measures to prevent foreign intervention in Syria and help maintain the Arab country's unity and independence.

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