TEHRAN: Iran and India can play a “constructive and useful” role in ensuring security in the region, especially in Afghanistan, and Tehran welcomes New Delhi’s role in establishing stability in the war-torn country, newly-elected President Ebrahim Raisi told External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar here on Friday.
During his meeting with Jaishankar, a day after he was sworn in as the Iranian president, Raisi underlined that the two countries should take new and distinct steps in the development of bilateral, regional and international relations with a new perspective.
This was the second meeting between the leaders of the two nations in one month.
Jaishankar had met Raisi, then president-elect, on July 7 during a stopover at the Iranian capital on his way to Russia.
During Friday’s meeting, the Iranian President stressed the importance of close cooperation and coordination between the two countries in developing peace and stability in the region.
“Iran and India can play a constructive and useful role in ensuring security in the region, especially Afghanistan and Tehran welcomes New Delhi’s role in the establishment of security in Afghanistan,” Raisi emphasised.
Raisi’s significant comments on India’s role in Afghanistan was issued by the Iranian president’s office in a press release.
“The fate of Afghanistan must be decided by the Afghans themselves, and we believe that if the Americans do not sabotage the situation, this issue will be resolved quickly,” Raisi added.
Along with Russia, Iran has been playing a major role in the Afghan peace process that has witnessed a renewed momentum in the wake of the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan.
Jaishankar’s visit to Tehran in July coincided with Iran hosting an intra-Afghan dialogue in the country.
India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan.
It has already invested nearly USD 3 billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the war-ravaged country.
India has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.
It has also been calling upon all sections of the political spectrum in Afghanistan to work together to meet the aspirations of all people in the country, including those from the minority communities, for a prosperous and safe future.
Emphasising that Iran attached special importance to establishing extensive relations with India, Raisi said: “From today on, we should take new and distinct steps in the development of bilateral, regional and international relations with a new perspective.” He said that the Iranian government will pursue a policy of developing relations with neighbouring countries and the region, especially India.
“There are various sectors, especially in the economic and commercial fields, as well as new technologies, that we should use to promote the level of our relations,” he said.