India and Iran also exchange views on developments in Afghanistan and Gaza
The 18th round of India-Iran Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) marked a noteworthy step in reinforcing the bilateral relations between the two nations. Held in Tehran on November 26, 2023, the meeting saw India's Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra and Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani at the helm, showcasing a robust dialogue amid challenging regional scenarios.

The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relationship, including connectivity projects such as Chabahar port, political engagements, trade & economic matters, cultural exchanges, people-to-people ties, agriculture cooperation, and capacity building initiatives, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

They also exchanged views on current regional and global issues, including developments in Afghanistan and Gaza, the MEA added.

During the talks, India appreciated Iran's participation in the Voice of the Global South Summits held this year. These summits, important for emerging economies and developing countries mainly from the Southern Hemisphere, covered a wide range of issues including economic development and geopolitical challenges. Iran actively participated in these summits, focusing on economic cooperation and sustainable development.

Foreign Secretary Kwatra additionally held a series of meetings with Iran's key officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mehdi Safari. These meetings centered on enhancing India-Iran trade and economic relationships.

According to MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, discussions with Mehdi Safari focused on concretising India's engagement in developement of the Chabahar port as a connectivity project. Avenues of increasing broader trade and investment ties were also reviewed, Bagchi wrote in a post on social media platform X.

Dicussions between the Indian Foreign Secretary and the Iranian Foreign Minister covered bilateral matters, connectivity projects including Chabahar port, and shared perspective on current challenges in the region. Both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation in various spheres, MEA Spokesperson Bagchi informed in a post on X.

These engagements were part of India’s efforts to strengthen its economic ties with Iran amid the region's changing geopolitical dynamics.

India and Iran both agree on the importance of a stable and peaceful environment for the growth and development of countries in the region, a critical factor considering the dynamic political climate of West Asia, where both countries are influential.