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India and Iran Commit to Boosting Multilateralism, Counter-Terror Cooperation

© Photo : Twitter/IRNAIndia's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval holds talks with secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani
India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval holds talks with secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.05.2023
NSA Ajit Doval’s visit to Tehran came just days ahead of the crucial Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa, India.
Top security officials from India and Iran have inked a joint statement aimed at enhancing multilateralism and counter-terrorism cooperation in order to strengthen regional peace and stability, state-backed IRNA news agency reported.
The statement was signed during the previously unannounced visit of Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor (NSA) to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to Tehran on Monday.
During his visit, Doval held wide-ranging talks on economic, security and political issues with the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani.

Importantly, Shamkhani called for optimising the use of national currencies in bilateral trade in order to enhance economic ties between the two countries, adding that Tehran considers New Delhi’s political, economic and security role in regional affairs to be necessary and helpful.

For his part, Doval highlighted that the recent rapprochement of ties between Tehran and Riyadh would have a “profound” impact on international relations.
The joint communique after their meeting stated that both sides were committed to fighting terrorism in all its forms in order to protect regional peace, security and stability.
Doval said that increased cooperation between Iran and India on Afghanistan matters would boost regional stability.
He also called for joint efforts to root out ‘tafkiri’ (a violent offshoot of Islam involving hardliners branding other Muslims as apostates) terrorism in Afghanistan.
Rajnath Singh meets Iran’s Defence Minister, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiyani - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.04.2023
Defense News
India and Iran Hold Talks on Afghanistan Situation, International North South Corridor
As per the joint statement, both the countries also expressed concern over the humanitarian and political situation in Afghanistan, and once again urged the Taliban* to form an “inclusive government”.
It also emphasised the need to increase bilateral cooperation within regional and multilateral groupings in order to achieve “regional integrity.”

It stated that the further developing the connectivity initiatives the primary means of achieving the goal of regional integration, with both the sides recognising the New Delhi-backed port of Chabahar as an “important symbol” of bilateral cooperation.

The joint statement also underscored the importance of boosting cooperation with Russia and other central Asian states to fully develop the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC). The INSTC is a 7,200-kilometer-long network of roads, railways and shipping lanes connecting Russia with India through central Asia and Iran.

Doval Calls Upon Iranian President, Foreign Minister

Doval also called upon Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian during his daylong visit.

Raisi told Doval that groupings such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS could play an influential role in the emerging global order.

The Iranian president also said that New Delhi and Tehran could jointly play a role in resolving regional issues, which include finding a political settlement in Afghanistan.
According to an Iranian foreign ministry statement, Amirabdollahian called for enhancing cooperation in terrorism, drug trafficking as well as on economic and trade-related matters.
* under UN sanctions