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Modi to meet Ayatollah Khamemei today: bilateral trade top on agenda

"We Indians have a specialty. We accept everyone and assimilate with everyone," Modi said while addressing a community gathering at the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Gurudwara in Teheran

Indians living abroad have the capability to assimilate with everyone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Teheran on a two-day visit to Iran said on Sunday.

Iranian Economic Affairs and Finance Minister Ali Tayebnia received him at the airport. He was also accorded a red carpet welcome.

After his arrival in the Iranian capital,  Modi left for a gurudwara and offered prayers.

“We Indians have a specialty. We accept everyone and assimilate with everyone,” Modi said while addressing a community gathering at the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Gurudwara which was founded in 1941.

“The new generation should know about the sacrifices of the great (Sikh) Gurus and about the Guru Granth Sahib,” he said.

He also said that he has noted several suggestions that have come from the Indian community in Iran.

“Let us all work together to serve humanity,” the prime minister said.

According to the Indian embassy, the Indian community in Iran, which was sizeable earlier, has dwindled and now consists of about 100 families in Tehran and about 20 in Zahedan.

There are also around 1,300 Indian students in Iran, a large number of whom pursue theological studies in Qom.

Modi will be accorded an official welcome on Monday following which he will hold talks with Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.

Connectivity, energy security and bilateral trade are on top of Modi’s agenda during his visit which comes a a little over a month-and-a-half of his trip to Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, the trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan to develop the Chabahar port in the Gulf nation will be signed.

The prime minister will also inaugurate an Indian cultural festival in Iran on Monday.

Ahead of his departure from New Delhi, Modi tweeted that he looked forward to his visit to Iran at the invitation of President Rouhani.

“India and Iran enjoy civilisational ties and have shared interest in the peace, security, stability and prosperity of the region,” he said.

He said his meetings with President Rouhani and Supreme Leader Khamenei would provide an opportunity to advance the strategic partnership between India and Iran.

Modi said that priority would be given to enhancing connectivity, trade, investments, energy partnership, culture and people-to-people contact.

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