Jaishankar to represent India at swearing-in of Iranian president-elect Raisi | Latest News India

India will be represented by external affairs minister S Jaishankar at the inauguration of Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi on August 5, the external affairs ministry said on Wednesday.

“At the invitation of the government of Iran, external affairs minister will visit Iran on August 5-6, 2021 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect H.E. Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi on August 5,” the ministry said in a statement.

Jaishankar will meet Raisi during the visit, and also hold talks with other leaders on the sidelines of the trip, the ministry said without giving details.

Iran had invited India to attend the swearing-in ceremony when Jaishankar met Raisi during a stopover in Tehran on July 7 while travelling to Moscow. A total of 115 officials from 73 countries, including 10 heads of state, 11 foreign ministers and 10 other ministers, will attend the inauguration.

There were earlier indications that India would be represented at the ceremony by some other minister and the decision to send Jaishankar reflects the convergence between the two countries on key issues such as the situation in Afghanistan, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity.

The presence of the external affairs minister at the ceremony will also signal the importance attached by New Delhi to its ties with Tehran, the people said.

A visit by Jaishankar will be an opportunity for the two sides to exchange notes on regional developments, especially the security situation in Afghanistan.

Though Jaishankar’s stopover in Tehran last month was described as a “transit halt” by the Indian side, the Iranian side saw it as akin to a full-fledged visit as he held talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and met the president-elect. Jaishankar also handed over a personal message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Raisi.

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The two countries also expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan following a massive campaign by the Taliban to capture territory.

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