Indian defense minister visits Tehran, meets Iranian counterpart

September 6, 2020 - 12:31

TEHRAN – Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, who left Moscow for Tehran on Saturday, held talks with Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Sunday.

“Leaving Moscow for Tehran. I shall be meeting the Defence Minister of Iran, Brigadier General Amir Hatami,” Singh tweeted on Saturday.

Also in another tweet on Sunday, Singh said he "had a very fruitful meeting with Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami in Tehran. We  discussed regional security issues including Afghanistan and the issues of bilateral cooperation ."

Singh was in Moscow on a three-day visit to Russia to attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense ministers. 

He also urged the Persian Gulf countries to resolve their disputes through dialogue based on mutual respect.

“We are deeply concerned about the situation in the Persian Gulf,” Singh said in his address at a meeting of the SCO.

“We call upon countries in the region - all of which are dear and friendly to India, to resolve differences by dialogue based on mutual respect, sovereignty, and non-interference in internal affairs of each other,” he said in his address at the combined meeting of defense ministers of the SCO, Collective Security Treaty Organization and Commonwealth of Independent States member states.

The SCO is a Eurasian political and economic organization that was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and India are its main members, and Iran, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and Belarus are observers.

Bakhtiar Hakimov, the Russian president’s special representative for the SCO, has reiterated support for Iran’s full membership in the bloc, ISNA reported on Friday.

Hakimov reiterated Russia’s support for full membership during a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali.
 
In a meeting with Jalali in February, Hakimov had also said Russia supports Iran’s full membership in the SCO.

Iran applied for full membership in the organization on March 24, 2008. However, because it was under sanctions levied by the United Nations at the time, it was blocked from admission as a new member. The SCO stated that any country under UN sanctions could not be admitted. After the UN sanctions were lifted, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced its support for Iran’s full membership in the SCO during a state visit to Iran in January 2016.

NA/PA

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