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NSA Doval visits Iran, holds talks with Iranian counterpart

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NEW DELHI, May 1 (PTI): NSA Ajit Doval on Monday held wide-ranging talks with his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani in Tehran focusing on economic, political and security ties between the two countries.

The National Security Advisor is on a day-long visit to Iran.

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The two officials discussed economic, political and security issues concerning the two countries as well as the most important regional and international developments, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.

Doval is also scheduled to hold talks with Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

There is no official word on Doval’s visit by either India or Iran.

Doval’s visit to Iran comes ahead of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa this week.

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India is the current chair of the SCO and Iran is set to be made a permanent member of the grouping at its annual summit later this year.

The implementation of the Chabahar Port project in Iran is also a key focus area in the bilateral ties between New Delhi and Tehran.

Last month, Iranian ambassador Iraj Elahi strongly pitched for faster implementation of the Chabahar port project as well as the use of the facility by India to send various shipments, saying the key transit hub will benefit both countries.

He also said that there is a need to look at the Chabahar project beyond economic perspectives.

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Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran’s southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost connectivity and trade ties.

At a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021, external affairs minister S Jaishankar projected the port as a key regional transit hub.

Elahi had also sought the resumption of import of crude oil by India from Iran, citing New Delhi not succumbing to pressure from the Western powers to not continue procurement of petroleum products from Russia following the Ukraine crisis.

India stopped procurement of crude oil from Iran after the US did not continue with sanction waivers to India and several other countries.

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The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
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