Iranian Foreign Minister begins 3-day India visit from today

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Published: January 14, 2020 9:23:43 AM

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will hold talks with Zarif on Thursday morning over breakfast, according to the ministry.

On Thursday afternoon, Zarif will travel to Mumbai where he will interact with a group of businesses leaders. He will conclude his India visit on Friday, according to the MEA.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to India in midst of spiralling tension between Iran and the US. On Wednesday, Zarif will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi besides delivering a lecture at the Raisina Dialogue, the External Affairs Ministry’s flagship annual conference.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will hold talks with Zarif on Thursday morning over breakfast, according to the ministry. In the meeting both ministers are expected to deliberate on fast escalating tensions between Iran and the US over killing of a top Iranian military commander by the US in a drone attack.

On Thursday afternoon, Zarif will travel to Mumbai where he will interact with a group of businesses leaders. He will conclude his India visit on Friday, according to the MEA. The visit by the Iranian foreign minister assumes significance as it is taking place when the global focus has been on Iran and the US over the confrontation following killing of Maj Gen Soleimani.

India has been maintaining that it would like the situation to de-escalate as soon as possible and the country has been in touch with key players including Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar as it has important interests in the region.

Maj Gen Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite al-Quds force was killed when a US drone fired missiles on his convoy in Iraq on January 3. Last week, Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces’ are stationed in Iraq.

Soleimani’s killing was the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Iran and the US. India has strategic interests in the Gulf region which is a key source of the country’s energy security.

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