New Delhi: Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki wound up a two-day visit to India after discussing cooperation in the energy sector, transit routes to central Asia and sharing of information on militant activity in the Pakistan-Afghanistan belt with his Indian counterpart. He would be pleased with the fact that a meeting with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh would have lifted his visit from the realm of the formal and routine.
Both sides, it is being given to understand, discussed prospects of trilateral dialogue between India, Iran and Afghanistan on transit routes to central Asia, with the Iranian port of Chabahar to be the staging point for goods.
In intensive discussions with Indian foreign minister S M Krishna, Mottaki discussed issues related to security, pricing and guaranteed supply of petroleum and gas products. Both sides resolved to convene a meeting of the Joint Working Group to discuss finer details.
It was also decided to diversify trade contacts between the two nations from its overwhelming emphasis on the oil and gas sectors. An effort would be made to increase contacts in the banking and civil aviation sectors, seek agreements to avoid double taxation and protect bilateral investment.
India also raised the issue of the implementation of a deal for the supply of five million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per annum from Iran. New Delhi has maintained that reopening the agreement to accommodate Tehran's desire for higher rates was unacceptable.
The agreement was signed in 2005.
Mottaki renewed an invitation to Dr Singh to visit Tehran. Details would be worked out through diplomatic channels.