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President Khatami to arrive in New Delhi on Friday

New Delhi, Jan 23, IRNA -- Iran's President Mohammed Khatami, heading a high level political and economic delegation, will arrive here Friday at the invitation of his Indian counterpart A.P.J Abdul Kalam.

Informed sources told IRNA Thursday that President Khatami will take part in a gathering of Iranian residents in New Delhi after arriving here.

The Iranian residents, including the students who are studying in Indian universities and the students of Iranian schools, are looking forward to the visit.

India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be hosting a special dinner in Khatami's honor on his arrival. The official welcome ceremony for the Iranian president will take place on Saturday in Rashtrapati Bhawan or President House in New Delhi.

President Khatami's participation in India's Republic Day ceremony on Sunday as a special guest is one of the special aspects of his visit.

India's leaders have repeatedly emphasized that the official invitation to President Khatami to participate in the fifty-fourth Republic Day anniversary of India is a signal of the importance that New Delhi attaches to its relations with Iran.

During Khatami's visit, the two countries will also sign several agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the two countries in economic, cultural, technical and educational areas.

The Delhi University which is one of the oldest and most famous universities of India will confer a honorary doctorate degree on the Iranian president and the English text of President Khatami's book titled "Islam, Dialogue and Civil Society" will also be released.

India's Vice President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who is also the chairman of Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Indian Parliament), Deputy Premier, Lal Krishna Advani and Sonia Gandhi, leader of Opposition and Congress President are among the personalities who will meet the Iranian president.

Scholars and professors of the Persian language will also have talks with President Khatami during his stay in India.

High-level Iranian business delegation arrives in New Delhi

New Delhi, Jan 23, IRNA -- A high-level Iranian delegation, consisting of businessmen and industrialist, arrived here Friday afternoon for holding talks with their Indian counterparts.

According to IRNA reporter, the Iranian delegation in their talks, will prepare the required ground for the expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries on the eve of President Mohammad Khatami's official trip to India.

The Iranian president, heading a high level political and economic delegation, will arrive in New Delhi here Friday on a four-day official visit.

The 70-member Iranian business delegation will participate at a meeting of the two countries' business promotion core group (IIBPCG) here Thursday evening.

The IIBPCG was set up following Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to Iran under the aegis of India-Iran Joint Business Council (IIJBC).

Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), in a press release a copy of which was received by IRNA Thursday morning, said that Iranian delegation will also participate Friday in a round-table business meet to promote North-South Corridor for transportation of goods from India to Bandar Abbas port in Iran up to Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North European markets.

The core group has been entrusted with the task of working out a plan for enhanced business and economic cooperation in identified sectors and formulating a strategy for doubling the trade turnover in a year's time and triplicating in three years, FICCI president A.C. Mutiah told IRNA earlier.

The trade volume between India and Iran in 2002, including that of India's oil imports from Iran, stood at about two billion US dollars.

President calls on Supreme Leader ahead of Indian tour

Tehran, Jan 23, IRNA -- On the eve of his four-day tour to India, President Mohammad Khatami on Thursday called on Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

The Supreme Leader offered his best wishes for the president's success.

The president will leave for New Delhi tomorrow, Friday, at the invitation of Indian President Abdul Kalam. The tour is taking place coincident with Indian Republic Day (January 26).

President Khatami is scheduled to hold talks with his Indian counterpart Abdul Karim and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on bilateral, regional and international issues.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, Minister of Defense and Logistics of the Armed Forces Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani and Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mostafa Moin will accompany the president.

The topic of export of Iranian gas to India through Pakistan has been placed on the agenda of bilaterl talks between the Iranian and Indian officials.

Pakistan has already okayed piping Iranian gas to India via its soil.

... Payvand News - 1/23/03 ... --

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