India has Wednesday rejected advice from the United States to talk tough during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit scheduled for next week, saying India and Iran did not need guidance on how to conduct their bilateral relations.
"India and Iran are ancient civilizations whose relations span centuries. Both nations are capable of managing all aspects of their relationship with the appropriate degree of care and attention," the official spokesman for India's Foreign Ministry said in a statement late Tuesday, reported the dpa.
Earlier this week Washington encouraged India to ask Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and "support for terrorism" during Ahmadinejad's visit.
"We would hope that the Indian government... would call on him [President Ahmadinejad] to meet the requirements that the Security Council and the international community has placed on him in terms of suspending their uranium enrichment activities and complying with the other requirements regarding their nuclear programme," said US state department spokesman Tom Casey on Monday.
India's Foreign Ministry said that neither country needs any guidance on bilateral relations "as both countries believe that engagement and dialogue alone lead to peace."
"It is important that the genius of each nation living in a particular region is respected and allowed to flower to meet the expectations of enriching relations with neighbours," the statement added.
The Iranian president is scheduled to arrive in India on April 29 for a brief visit on his way back to Tehran from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.
Ahmadinejad was expected to call on President Pratibha Patil and hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on issues of mutual interest, accordingf to the Indian Foreign Ministry.