India, Iran have common stance on terrorism, says Iranian President

New Delhi: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Saturday said India and Iran have a “common stance” in effectively dealing with terrorism and extremism, and called for concerted regional efforts to deal with the challenge.

After holding wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rouhani, trying to reflect on growing congruence in bilateral ties, said the two sides deliberated on a range of pressing bilateral, regional and international issues but did not disagree on even a “single topic”.

“Iran and India have a common stance on confronting terrorism and extremism, and we are determined to confront terrorism and extremism through culture and the exchange of information and experience,” he said in a statement to the media.

Asked whether India raised the issue of Pakistan- sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir during today’s talks, officials in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that there was an understanding on how India was a victim of terrorism, indicating that it figured in the deliberations.

Rouhani said he and Modi had very good discussions on stepping up cooperation in a number of key areas including oil and gas as well as on crucial connectivity projects like development of the Chabahar port.

“Today, we are witnessing the development of Chabahar Port and a momentum in the construction of Chabahar railway to Zahedan with India’s investment,” Rouhani said, asserting that ties between the two countries are going to intensify further.

The Iranian President said Modi’s visit to Tehran in 2016 paved the way for bringing new momentum in ties and its fruits are being seeing today.

“Relations between Iran and India are beyond political and diplomatic. It is a historical relationship, it is a relationship based on civilisational heritage,” he said.

Rouhani said Iran was “fully ready” to intensify cooperation in the areas of energy, particularly oil, gas and petrochemicals.

“We also had a great deal of discussion today on facilitating economic relations, preferential trade tariffs, better banking relations, visa relations and facilitating travel between the two countries for business purposes,” he said.

On convergence of views between the two sides on key issues, Rouhani said, “On all major bilateral, regional and international issues, we did not disagree on even a single topic”.

Referring to the situation in Afghanistan, he said both countries were of the opinion that all stakeholders should work for peace and stability of the country.

“We believe that the various issues of the region, especially in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, should be resolved through political initiatives,” he said.

On Iran’s nuclear issue, he said both the countries have a common viewpoint that the commitment to the international agreement must be honoured.

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