Rajnath Singh to make stopover in Tehran, to meet Iranian defence minister, boosts cooperation

Rajnath Singh to make stopover in Tehran, to meet Iranian defence minister. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Iran is significant in view of India’s considering the country as part of its extended neighbourhood and also key to connectivity projects, learned citing dnaindia.

Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Iran for a brief stopover tonight while returning from Russia. He is scheduled to have a bilateral with Iran’s defence minister. In a tweet, Rajnath said, “Leaving Moscow for Tehran. I shall be meeting the Defence Minister of Iran, Brigadier General Amir Hatami.

Rajnath Singh was in Moscow for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation defence ministers meeting. The eventful visit to Moscow saw a meeting between Indian and Chinese defence ministers amid the Line of Actual Control (LAC) row. The meet came at the request of the Chinese side.

Iran is an observer country of the SCO grouping. The visit to Iran is significant in view of India’s considering the country as part of its extended neighbourhood and also key to connectivity projects. The Chabahar port project, where India has berths, provides connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. 

This is also the first visit to Iran by any Indian minister since the killing of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Qasem Soleimani by Americans earlier this year. 

Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Rajanth Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe discussed the border tensions at LAC in Ladakh on Friday and agreed to find a solution through dialogue.

“Raksha Mantri categorically conveyed India’s position on the developments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) including in the Galwan valley in the Western Sector of the India-China Border Areas in the last few months,” a statement from the Defence Minister’s office said.

“RM emphasised that the actions of the Chinese troops, including amassing of large number of troops, their aggressive behaviour and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo were in violation of the bilateral agreements,” it added.

The meeting between the Indian and Chinese delegations, which started at 9.30 p.m. Indian Standard Time, went on for two hours and saw the border disputes discussed at length.

During the meeting, Singh stated clearly that “while the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management, but at the same time there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry said.

“Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh conveyed that the two sides should continue their discussions, including through diplomatic and military channels, to ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC at the earliest,” read the statement.

This is the first political dialogue after the tension on the borders started.

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