Jaishankar holds talks with Iranian, Turkish ministers, discusses bilateral relations

New Delhi

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held separate talks with his counterparts from Iran and Turkey on the sidelines of a multilateral conference in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe on Monday.

Jaishankar is in Dushanbe on a bilateral visit as also to attend the Heart of Asia conference on Tuesday.

The external affairs minister described his conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as "warm" and said it covered bilateral cooperation, including the Chabahar port project. "Began my Heart of Asia engagements with a meeting with Iranian FM @JZarif. A warm conversation that underlined our convergences. Also discussed our bilateral cooperation, including Chabahar," he said in a tweet.

Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the southern coast of energy-rich Iran, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost trade ties.

India handed over 2 140-tonne mobile harbour cranes to the authorities of the Chabahar port in Iran on Sunday as both sides reviewed their overall cooperation in developing the transit hub. The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process is an initiative to bring together all the key stakeholders to bring lasting peace and stability in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is also attending the Heart of Asia conference. It is not clear if Jaishankar and Qureshi will have a meeting in Dushanbe.

About his talks with the Turkish foreign minister, Jaishankar said the discussions focused on Afghanistan-related developments and bilateral relations. “Met FM @MevlutCavusoglu of Turkey on the sidelines of @HeartofAsia_IP. Our discussions focused on Afghanistan-related developments and our bilateral relations,” he said in another tweet.

India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It has already invested $2 billion in aid and reconstruction activities in the country.

After arriving In Tajikistan on Monday, Jaishankar visited the Dus­hanbe-Chortut highway project site and lauded BRO for "good work" there. “Visited the Dushanbe-Chortut Highway Project site. Good work being done by @BROindia under our grant assistance. The 8-lane highway will decongest Dushanbe,” he said.

China pleased over Pakistan’s positive interactions with India’

Beijing: China on Monday said it was "pleased" over Pakistan's "positive interactions" with India and it will work with Islamabad to "inject" positive energy into regional peace, stability and development. “We are happy about the active interactions between Pakistan and India,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here in response to a question. But an official transcript posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website later quoted him China is “pleased with Pakistan’s recent positive interactions with India.” “We are ready to work with Pakistan, and continue to inject positive energy into regional peace, stability and development,” he said.

Meeting with minister not finalised or requested: Qureshi

Islamabad: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mah­mood Qureshi has said no meeting has been “finalised or requested” so far with his Indian cou­nterpart S Jaishankar on the sidelines of the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference on Tuesday at Dushanbe, a media report said on Monday. The participation of both the ministers at the conference has sparked speculation of a possible meeting between the two leaders amid recent peace overtures from the Pakistan Army. Qureshi on Sunday told the Dawn "no meeting (between him and Jaishankar) has been finalised or requested." About media speculation India and Pakistan have been quietly negotiating for the full resumption of diplomatic relations, Qureshi said, “No such decision yet.”

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