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Iranian Foreign Minister arrives in India

New Delhi: Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in India on Thursday evening on a two-day visit during which he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Zarif will call on Prime Minister Modi at the latter’s official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence here at 10.10 a.m. on Friday.

Later in the day, he will meet Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari at the Transport Bhawan here. This would be followed by a meeting with External Affairs Minister Swaraj at the Hyderabad House here.

The Iranian Foreign Minister will call on Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari at 4 6, Maulana Azad Road here. He will fly back at 8 p.m.

India-Iran relations span centuries marked by meaningful interactions. The two countries share several common features in their language, culture and traditions.

The two countries have in place several bilateral consultative mechanisms at various levels which meet regularly. Foreign Offices of both countries also hold regular consultations on bilateral and regional issues.

India-Iran enjoys economic and commercial ties covering many sectors. However, the trade relations have traditionally been buoyed by Indian import of Iranian crude oil resulting in overall trade balance in favour of Iran.

India over the years has emerged as one of the favourite tourist destinations for Iranian tourists and every year around 40,000 Iranians visit India for various purposes. In February 2011, India successfully outsourced the tourist visa collection in Tehran to facilitate the visa services for Iranian tourists visiting India.

Regular meetings of the Joint Consular Committee is held to discuss consular and other related issues aimed at facilitating people to people exchanges between the two countries and addressing the concerns of Indians resident in Iran and Iranians resident in India. The latest round of Consular Committee meeting was held in Tehran in May 2014. (ANI)