Iranian President starts maiden India visit on Thursday, expected to strengthen ties


President Rouhani will be accorded a ceremonial reception on February 17 and then he will call on President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi.

According to Tehran based Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) Rouhani will travel to India at the official invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he will meet Indian officials.

Rouhani, who will be reaching Hyderabad directly from Iran on Thursday, will attend various programmes during his two-day stay before proceeding to New Delhi.

The statement insisted that the crackdown on the freedom to inform also targets the global media.

While there was a strained relationship between the two countries past year, with India announcing that it was reducing its oil imports from Iran, the two countries have since signed a preliminary agreement for expansion of Iran's rail network.

India committed $85 million in investment for the development of the Shahid Beheshti Port in Iran's southeastern city of Chabahar. Indo-Iranian bilateral trade during the fiscal year 2016-17 was $12.89 billion.

India, Iran and Afghanistan have already signed an agreement to give Indian goods, heading toward Central Asia and Afghanistan, preferential treatment and tariff reductions at the Chabahar port city in southern Iran.

India and Iran have robust economic and commercial ties covering many sectors though it has traditionally been dominated by Indian import of Iranian crude oil and the country continued to engage with Iran at the time of sanctions. India imported U.S. $10.5 billion worth of goods mainly crude oil and exported commodities worth U.S. $2.4 billion.

Rouhani said that the Islamic Revolution was aimed at gaining independence, forging national sovereignty, achieving freedom, spreading Islamic and national culture, republicanism, and Islamism. This will be Rouhani's maiden visit to India since he came to power in August 2013.

Telangana Chief Secretary Shailendra Kumar Joshi held a coordination meeting at the Secretariat in Hyderabad on Rouhanis visit and directed officials of different departments to make foolproof arrangements for his visit.