Indian PM hosts Iran's Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who says ties have strengthened under Rouhani.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu and Modi
Netanyahu and Modi
Avi Ohayon/GPO

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met on Saturday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as part of his three-day visit to India.

"This is the first visit by an Iranian president in 10 years," Modi told a joint press conference with Rouhani after the meeting. "It deepens and strengthens relations."

Modi added that Iran and India respect each other and claimed that under Rouhani's leadership, the ties between the two countries have strengthened.

The Iranian president’s visit to India comes one month after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was warmly received in India as part of a visit to mark 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"The Prime Minister of India is a close friend of Israel and of mine, and I appreciate the fact that he personally accompanies me in large parts of the visit. I have hope that the new era in Israeli-Indian relations will bring benefits to Israelis, Indians and the entire world," Netanyahu said after the meeting.

Last week, Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit the Palestinian Authority (PA), where he met PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He also visited the grave of former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat, laid a wreath and said that Arafat "was one of the greatest leaders."

Modi became the first Indian prime minister ever to visit Israel in July last year, with the two countries signing deals on cybersecurity and energy.