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Indian Vice President Ansari seeks India-Iran cooperation for peace in Afghanistan

Kolkata, Sep 12 Observing that Iran’s location and hydrocarbon resources complement India’s energy appetite and quest for new markets, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari Friday called for enhanced cooperation in several areas including establishing peace in Afghanistan.

In his address at the “The Imperative of an Indo-Iranian Relationship” seminar organised by the Iran Society Kolkata here, he said the bilateral relation of over six decades displays both convergences and drift but the now “modified imperatives have created space for more vigorous inputs into the Indo-Iranian relationship”.

“Iran’s location and hydrocarbon resources complement India’s energy appetite and quest for new markets. They point to four areas of cooperation for mutual benefit that are currently said to be on the drawing board,” he said.

Ansari identified the four areas of cooperation as establishing peace, stability and inclusive governance in Afghanistan including operationalisation of road and possibly rail link to Afghanistan through the Iranian port of Chabahar; functioning of the North-South Corridor through Iran to Central Asia and Europe; building of an under-the-sea gas pipeline from southern Iran to the west coast of India; and a framework for ensuring freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz involving littoral, regional and global powers.

“Each of these would further development objectives of the concerned regional and extra-regional states, enhance confidence, and lessen misgivings emanating from unilateral perceptions of security,” he said.

“Iran has played and will continue to play a significant role in human affairs. India’s own capabilities in each of the potential areas of cooperation would ensure equitable gains,” added Ansari.

The vice president also inaugurated a three day seminar to mark the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of nationalist leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.

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