Iranian FM Javad Zarif to arrive in India today on 3-day visit


NEW DELHI: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will arrive here on Tuesday on a three-day visit to India amid spiralling tension between the Middle East country and the United States.

Besides addressing the Raisina Dialogue – an annual conference where dignitaries from more than 100 countries across the world will share their views on geopolitics and geoeconomics, climate change, counter-terrorism and other agendas of the next decade – the foreign minister will also pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, January 15.

The visiting dignitary will further deliberate on regional issues with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar over breakfast on Thursday following which he will emplane for Mumbai to interact with a group of businesses leaders.
During his trip to the country’s financial capital, Zarif is also scheduled to call on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. He will conclude his India visit on Friday, according to an official statement.

The visit by the Iranian foreign minister comes at a time when the global attention is focused on the simmering tensions in the Middle East post the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by a Pentagon-ordered drone attack in Baghdad earlier this month.

India has been maintaining that it would like the situation to de-escalate as soon as possible and the country has been in touch with key players including Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar as it has important interests in the region.
Last week, Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces’ are stationed in Iraq.

Soleimani’s killing has led to a dramatic escalation of tension between Tehran and Washington which was already strained after from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the “Iran nuclear deal,” in 2018.

India has strategic interests in the Gulf region which is a key source of its energy security. (ANI)