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After Hillary’s oil diplomacy, Ahmadinejad dials PM

After Hillary’s oil diplomacy, Ahmadinejad dials PM
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Against the backdrop of the US pressure on India to cut oil imports from Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to emphasise that expansion of ties in different fields would lead to 'considerable achievements' for both nations.

Ahmadinejad had called up the prime minister on the last Monday primarily to invite him to the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Iran in August, sources said on Friday. During the conversation, the two leaders talked about the status of bilateral ties and international issues of mutual interest, the sources said.

Ahmadinejad told Singh that the Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi would travel to New Delhi shortly, carrying his personal invitation for the summit, the sources said.

According to an official statement issued by Ahmedinejad's office soon after the telephonic talk, the Iranian president 'stressed [on] expansion of Tehran-New Delhi cooperation in different fields'. The president said that the 'promotion of bilateral cooperation would lead to considerable achievements for both nations', it said. Ahmadinejad said Iran and India enjoy 'deep brotherly relations' and that 'the two nations would witness bright future', the statement said.

The prime minister, on his part, said that India attached great importance to ties with Iran and 'called for further expansion of cooperation with Tehran', the statement said.

Significantly, the telephonic call from Ahmedinejad came close on the heels of India stating that it had cut crude oil import from Iran by over 11 per cent this fiscal to 15.5 million tons.

India, which imports 80 per cent of its crude oil and relies on Tehran for 12 per cent of those imports.
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