Arab Today, arab today indian pm stresses continued cooperation with iran
Last Updated : GMT 03:46:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Indian PM stresses continued cooperation with Iran

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Indian PM stresses continued cooperation with Iran

New Delhi - Fna

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said bilateral cooperation between Iran and his country would continue despite problems in making payments for imported oil. Singh made the remarks in a meeting with the Iranian Supreme Leader\'s top Advisor for International Affairs Akbar Ali Velayati in New Delhi on Friday. At the meeting, the Indian premier said that efforts would be made to find a permanent solution in making monthly payments of about $1billion for oil imported from Iran, which the Prime Minister said was India\'s second major source of crude. \"The Prime Minister said some technical difficulties are there and we want to resolve this problem with understanding from both sides,\" Velayati told journalists. The former Iranian Foreign Minister with long-standing contacts with the top Indian leadership said there was no problem between the two countries over the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline. \"The question is the problem of transit between India and Pakistan. There is no problem between India and Iran on this. Both countries want such a link up which is important to both sides. It is the nearest gas reserve for India and Iran cannot get a better customer like India,\" he observed. Velayati asked for a regional solution to the Afghan problem, saying that Iran, India and Pakistan should make joint efforts to make Afghan reconciliation a reality. \"We have to look for solution within the region. Iran believes that people of the region are also eager to find a solution to the Afghan problem,\" Velayati said. Velayati briefed reporters about the issue of India\'s payment to Iran for oil imports, prospects of Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, India\'s stand on Iran\'s nuclear program and situation in West Asia. Asked about specific areas of cooperation on Afghanistan, Velayati said Iran, India, Pakistan and some Central Asian countries should help in arranging the reconciliation process among various Afghan groups. \"Neighboring countries of Afghanistan should help in bringing peace and development in the country. We believe that the people of Afghanistan should decide their future and Iran and India should help them in the process,\" he said. However, he made it clear that it did not mean that \"we want to interfere in the internal matters of Afghanistan\". About the decision of the international forces to withdraw from Afghanistan, Velayati said they had no other choice but to take such a step sooner or later. \"If the US forces continue to remain there, they would have faced the same situation that they did in Vietnam,\" he added. Velayati thanked India\'s positive stances on Iran\'s nuclear issue at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Velayati said India\'s position at the UN on Iran\'s nuclear program was positive. \"Of course, India has also said that Iran should abide by its obligations to international treaties. We also agree with it. We consider this as a positive position.\" Velayati also lashed out at the IAEA for suspecting any country of nuclear wrongdoings merely on the basis of some vague claims made by the US, and warned that India could also fall victim to such a biased approach. At the same time, he questioned IAEA\'s actions against Iran on the basis of complaints from one country - the US. \"Is it logical if one member like the US can claim that there are some reports with them and they have received some CDs in which they have accused Iran of doing something outside the NPT,\" he asked. \"The same may happen to any country like India. Will the Director General of the IAEA only follow the claims of the US,\" he asked. Velayati said there was no problem between Iran and the IAEA because it was working within the framework of the NPT. \"There was no covert place where Iran indulges in some activity outside the continued supervision of the global nuclear watchdog - IAEA,\" he said.

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