India, Iran must promote trade and economic links: Indian president

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India’s President Pranab Mukherjee has said that his country and Iran must work together to further promote trade and economic links, according to the New Indian Express on Wednesday.

The politician also urged that the two countries increase people- to-people contact, encouraging links between key figures in the business communities of both states.

President Mukherjee welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran at Rashtrapati Bhavan saying that “throughout history, both countries have seen an inter-mingling of people and cultures.”

“India and Iran have a strong bilateral economic relationship and it needs to further deepen for the benefit of peoples of both countries, we must work together to promote trade and economic links and increased people-to-people contacts between us and within the region,” he added.

The President said that Iran continues to be an important source of crude for India saying that “presently, our bilateral trade is weighted in favor of Iran. Indian markets are open to Iranian exports. India hopes that Iran would source more goods from India.”

Mukjherjee emphasized that both India and Iran have a responsibility to address the challenges to the region including terrorism, energy security, food security, climate change, environment and natural disasters.

“Peace and stability in Afghanistan is a key to the progress in the region,” Mukherjee added.

The President approved the Indian-Iranian relationship and the fact that both are in constant exchange of information and views on the developments in Afghanistan.