Iranian foreign minister to meet Modi, Sushma

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will arrive in India on Thursday on a 20-hour visit during which he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Zarif, who arrives here from Islamabad in the evening, will call on Modi on Friday morning at 7, Race Course Road.

He will later hold a meeting with union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari at Transport Bhavan. He will meet Sushma Swaraj at Hyderabad House and later call on Vice President Hamid Ansari.

He will depart at 2 p.m.

Zarif’s visit comes after the historic nuclear agreement arrived at between Iran and six world powers. He has embarked on a regional tour to inform about the Iran nuclear agreement. Before Islamabad, he was in Damascus, Syria, and before that in Lebanon.

During talks with Modi and Sushma Swaraj, both sides are expected to discuss increasing Indian imports of Iranian oil, and boosting trade.

India is a major importer of Iran oil. Iran was the second largest supplier of crude oil to India before the US-led sanctions against Tehran about two years ago led to marked reduction in levels.

Discussions on Iran’s Chabahar port, which India is upgrading, are also set to be a major focus of talks. Gadkari had visited Tehran earlier this year during which both sides had inked an accord on Chabahar port, which will provide India access to Afghanistan and beyond to Central Asia.

Zarif and Indian officials are also set to discuss the latest developments in the region, Iran’s recent nuclear agreement with world powers and the subsequent lifting of sanctions.

In Islamabad, Zarif held talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Foreign Affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz, according to news reports.

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