Jaishankar, new Iranian FM discuss bilateral ties, Afghanistan

New Delhi/Tehran : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a congratulatory call to new Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and also appreciated Tehran’s help in the repatriation flights from Afghanistan.

Jaishankar, in a tweet late Wednesday night, said, “A warm congratulatory call to Iranian FM@Amirabdolahian. Agreed to strengthen our bilateral cooperation. Discussed pressing regional issues.

“Appreciate Iran’s facilitation of our repatriation flights from Afghanistan.”

Some of the Indian evacuation flights from Iran, especially the first one bringing back the Indian ambassador and embassy staff from Kabul on August 16, flew over Iranian air space.

The new Iranian Foreign Minister took over a week ago. He was Iran’s deputy foreign minister for three years until 2016 under former Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

According to a readout of the telephone call by the Iran Foreign Ministry, the Iranian foreign minister called for “speeding up the Chabahar port project” and also called for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan “made up of all ethnic groups”.

It said, “The Indian foreign minister said it’s necessary for Iran and India to expand their ties.

“He referred to the wide range of areas in which Iran and India work together like their regional and transportation cooperation.

“Jaishankar invited the Iranian foreign minister to visit India for further negotiations.

“The top Indian diplomat also said Iran and India need to continue consultations on Afghanistan.

“Amir Abdollahian thanked his Indian counterpart’s invitation and underscored the need to expand Iran-India relations in different economic fields like future prospects and also cooperation on vaccines. The Iranian foreign minister called for speeding up the Chabahar Project and expanding trade with India.

“Amir Abdollahian also spoke of Afghanistan. He said it’s Iran’s principled policy to support the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan made up of all Afghan ethnic groups. Iran’s foreign minister also said the international community including regional nations must join hands to defuse the crisis in Afghanistan.”