India looks to leverage Chabahar port to boost trade with Central Asia

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 02, 2020

A file photo of Chabahar Port   -  KSL

Project’s curbs-free status will continue, US assures India

Diplomats from India, Iran and Afghanistan took stock of the activities at the Chabahar Port in South-Eastern Iran one year after its inauguration in a recent meeting and discussed ways to further enhance connectivity and use the port to expand the India’s trade links with Central Asian countries.

“The Chabahar Port commenced operations almost a year ago in December 2018. Since then, we have had as many as 4,500 containers moving from India through Chabahar. Almost half a million tonne of cargo has transitted since the port was inaugurated,” said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.

“What we are further discussing with Iran now is how we can further improve connectivity and how we can take it forward,” said Kumar. “We are exploring how we can use this connectivity to expand our trade links with Central Asia. This was an important part of the External Affairs Minister’s meeting (with his Iranian counterpart),” he added.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Iran’s Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, for a meeting of the 19th India-Iran joint commission on December 22.

Both countries reviewed the “entire gamut’’ of bilateral cooperation and agreed on accelerating our Chabahar project, Jaishankar had tweeted after the meeting. Jaishankar had visited Washington where senior officials confirmed that the US would continue its exemption to India to develop the Chabahar port in Iran, although the sanctions against trade in oil continued.

Raisina Hill Dialogue

Kumar added that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been invited to attend the Raisina Hill Dialogue scheduled in New Delhi on January 14-16.

Foreign Ministers from about ten countries such as Russia, the EU, and Iran had also expressed their interest in attending the meet.

Published on January 02, 2020

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