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India, Iran should replace ‘dying’ big powers: Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, waves to the media, prior to a meeting at the presidency in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, May 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)   | Photo Credit: Vahid Salemi

The Af-Pak situation figured during a meeting between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here on Tuesday and the former stressed the need for India and Iran to work together on regional issues.

Mr. Krishna is here to attend the G-15 summit and he called on Mr. Ahmadinejad as part of courtesy calls by leaders of delegations of all the other members.

“The Af-Pak situation was briefly mentioned. The two leaders talked about situation in the region,” said External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash. Mr. Ahmadinejad, he said, “underlined the desirability and need for India and Iran to be in touch and to work together.”

The President expressed satisfaction over the decision to hold a meeting of the India-Iran Joint Commission. The Commission met here about 18 months ago.

Mr. Prakash did not provide further details about this meeting as well as Mr. Krishna's interaction on Monday with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki. But Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Mr. Mottaki as telling Mr. Krishna that after the end of the Cold War, 15 years were spent in relative stagnation. In the new situation, India could act as an influential country and play a “very decisive role” in the region. Iran, he said, was happy to see India's economic development and progress, which was good for the region.

Mr. Krishna was assisted by Indian Ambassador to Iran Sanjay Singh and Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran) Yash Sinha, while the Iranian team comprised Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali Fathollahi and the Director-General of Asian Affairs.

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