India, Iran, Afghanistan conduct first trilateral meeting on Chabahar port.

Senior officials of Afghanistan, India and Iran on Tuesday met in Tehran to discuss the development of the Chabahar port, a sign that India is committed to the project despite the threat of looming US sanctions on the West Asian country.


The Indian delegation to the first meeting of the Coordination Council on Chabahar was led by T.S. Tirumurti, secretary, economic relations, India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Detailed discussions were held between the three sides on full operationalisation of the trilateral agreement for international transit and transport through Chabahar Port. All sides shared the view that full operationalisation of trilateral Chabahar initiative will promote connectivity and economic development of Afghanistan and the region,” according to the statement.

“It was decided to constitute a follow-up committee that would hold its first meeting within two months in Chabahar Port, Iran. It would discuss and aim to finalise a protocol to harmonise transit, roads, customs, consular matters that was shared by the Indian side at the meeting for making the route attractive, decrease logistic costs and pave the way for smooth implementation of the Trilateral Chabahar Agreement,” the statement added.

A person familiar with the development said India is committed to the project despite the threat of US sanctions on nations doing business with Iran including buying oil or investing in the country.

The sanctions were announced after the US withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that lifted most of the embargoes on the West Asian country imposed for its suspected nuclear weapons programme. India’s investment in Chabahar interlocutor on Iran Brian Hook visited New Delhi earlier this month.It was discussed when US

It was in 2003 that India first proposed developing the Chabahar port seen as a gateway for the country to access the landlocked markets of Afghanistan and Central Asia given New Delhi’s tense ties with Pakistan have blocked overland trade through Pakistan.

Chabahar is located less than 100 nautical miles from the Chinese built port of Gwadar in Pakistan. In February, India and Iran signed a pact to lease to New Delhi the contract for operation of the Shahid Beheshti port or phase 1 of Chabahar. Under the terms of the pact, India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL), an Indian company, is to take over the interim operations of the port at Chabahar and operate the terminal for 18 months.

New Delhi is awaiting from Iran the handing over of the Shahid Beheshti port for operation by India. (Source: livemint)

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