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Meira Kumar, Iranian President Ahmadinejad agree to bolster ties

Saturday November 05, 2011 09:58:04 PM, IANS

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Lok Sabha speaker to to visit Iran

Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will be visiting Iran in the first week of November, an official said Sunday. In a visit which is expected to boost bilateral ties, the speaker will be attending several cultural and education programmes in Iran, the official said.  »

New Delhi: In a sign of upswing in India-Iran relations, Lok Sabha Speaker Saturday met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran and agreed to bolster bilateral ties in diverse fields.

Meira Kumar is currently leading an Indian parliamentary delegation to Iran.

"Both sides agreed on the need to further strengthen the bilateral relations in various fields including political, economic and cultural fields," said a statement from the speaker's office.

Meira Kumar also held talks with her Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani, and members of the India-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group.

The speaker's visit to Iran came weeks after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September and accepted an invitation from him to visit Tehran.

The meeting underlined a warming of ties between New Delhi and Tehran that showed signs of drift after India voted against the Iranian nuclear programme, suspected of developing atomic weapons, at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) three times between 2005 and 2009.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the last Indian prime minister to visit Iran in 2001.

Meira Kumar unveiled a plaque at the Majlis premises commemorating the visit of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore to Tehran in 1932.

Another highlight of the speaker's trip to Iran was unveiling of the statue of iconic Indian scientist Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose at the Pardis Technology Park in Tehran.

Lauding Iran for its progress in research and technology, Meira Kumar said the unveiling of the statue of Acharya Bose would herald "a new beginning of scientific engagement between the two countries".






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