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Sushma Swaraj on four-day visit to Iran, Russia

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday embarked on a four-day visit to Iran and Russia that will see her attend a bilateral joint commission meeting in Tehran and a trilateral meeting later in Moscow with her counterparts from Russia and China.

In Tehran, Sushma will hold meetings with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, and also co-chair a meeting of the India-Iran Joint Commission that will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

Her visit follows that of Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was in Iran last week.

The Iran visit also comes two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia, during which both sides discussed ways to scale up their strategic ties.

Besides oil, India has vital stakes in connectivity projects in Iran, like the Chabahar port, that will open up physical connectivity with Central Asia and Afghanistan.

In Moscow, during the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers’ meeting, on April 18, Sushma would meet her counterparts Sergei Lavrov of Russia and Wang Yi from China. She is expected to raise with Wang the issue of China blocking India’s bid to ban Jaish-e-Mohamed chief Masood Azhar in the UN.

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