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Iran clarifies stand on Kashmir
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | January 28, 2003 23:45 IST
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi clarified on Tuesday that Tehran's stand on the Jammu and Kashmir issue remains unchanged.
Kharrazi said it was for India and Pakistan to resolve the issue through direct talks, taking into consideration the rights and sensibilities of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters in Hyderabad before leaving for Tehran with President Syed Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday evening, Kharrazi said Iran's views on the issue are well-known.
Reminded of the statement made by an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman in Tehran, that the issue should be resolved within the framework of the United Nations resolutions, Kharrazi contended that it was a misquotation. "It is true that there are resolutions adopted by the UN, but basically this issue has to be resolved through direct talks between India and Pakistan," he said.
Terming Khatami's visit to India as 'very successful', Kharrazi said it had come in response to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's trip to Tehran. "The fact that our head of state has visited India shows how developed the relations between the two countries are," he said.
Khatami, he said, had extensive talks with Vajpayee and President A P J Abdul Kalam. Several important documents were signed during the visit, including a road map to strategic cooperation and cooperation in the coal and gas sectors.
Kharrazi hoped this visit would pave the way for further development and cooperation between the countries.
He said Iran was yet to study the feasibility of the proposed gas pipeline under the sea or overland from Iran to India, and would decide the matter only after a detailed study.
Kharrazi said there were good prospects of cooperation between Andhra Pradesh and Iran in terms of transfer of technology and cooperation. "Hyderabad is doing very well in IT," he said, "and Iran is trying to develop capacity in this field." One of the strategic co-operation documents signed in New Delhi relates to information technology and high technology cooperation.
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