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Rajnath Singh to meet Iranian defence minister after 3-day Russia visit

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Defence minister Rajnath Singh reached Iran on Saturday to discuss bilateral ties between the two countries after concluding his three-day Russia visit during which he urged the Persian Gulf countries to resolve their differences.

Singh arrived in Tehran on Saturday evening from Moscow where he attended a meeting of the defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries. He is scheduled to meet his Iranian counterpart Brigadier General Amir Hatami during his Tehran visit.

“Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh reached Tehran this evening. He will be meeting the Iranian Defence Minister during his visit,” the defence ministry said in a tweet.

The defence minister’s visit to Tehran comes a day after he expressed concern over the situation in the Persian Gulf and called upon countries in the region to resolve differences through dialogue based on mutual respect and sovereignty.

Singh’s remarks came in the backdrop of a series of incidents in the Persian Gulf involving Iran, the US and the UAE in recent weeks which have flared up tension in the region.

Iranian navy had last month briefly seized control of a Liberian-flagged oil tanker in what the US said were international waters near the Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman to the south and the Arabian Sea beyond.

Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz if the United States tries to strangle its economy. Iran has observer status in the SCO, which was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005 and in 2017, both the countries were admitted as full members of the bloc.

(With agency inputs)

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