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Chabahar port is much more than a commercial transit hub today: Jaishankar

India on Thursday commemorated the 'Chabahar Day', reiterating the importance of regional connectivity which led to undertake an overseas port investment in Chabahar and signing of the tripartite agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on the establishment of a trilateral transport and transit Corridor in 2016. 

Chabahar Day S Jaishankar transit hub regional connectivity-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Mar 4, 2021, 2:28 PM IST
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India on Thursday commemorated the 'Chabahar Day', reiterating the importance of regional connectivity which led to undertake an overseas port investment in Chabahar and signing of the tripartite agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on the establishment of a trilateral transport and transit Corridor in 2016. 

Speaking on the margins of the virtual second Maritime India Summit, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the Tripartite Agreement on the establishment of a trilateral transport and transit corridor is a fitting tribute to the rich civilisational, cultural and trade links between India, Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia. 

The agreement was signed in 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran. 

"The Chabahar port has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The port is part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan," Jaishankar said while addressing a virtual format on 'Chabahar Day'.

India has utilized the Chabahar port to ship 75,000 MT of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan in September 2020.

"India also assisted Iran to fight the worst ever locust invasion in the last 25 years by supplying 25 metric tonnes of Malathion in June 2020, again through the Chabahar port. The second batch of 25 metric tonnes has recently reached Chabahar Port," he said.

"The shift in the fulcrum of global economic growth towards Asia is creating unprecedented opportunities for connectivity in the region. There is a huge infrastructure deficit in the region which needs to be met to fulfil the growing aspirations of our peoples," the minister added.

Besides the Indian exports of food products, the port has also handled several shipments and trans-shipments from Russia, Brazil, Thailand, Germany, Ukraine and the UAE. 

The International North-South Transport Corridor is an important trade corridor project, wherein India is partnering with 12 countries to establish an economic corridor for the benefit of local populations. 

"We also welcome the interest of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to join the multilateral corridor project. Establishing an eastern corridor through Afghanistan would maximize its potential. India has also proposed the inclusion of Chabahar in the INSTC route. I am hopeful that during the INSTC Coordination Council meeting, member states would agree to the expansion of the INSTC route to include the Chabahar Port and also agree on expanding the membership of this project," Jaishankar added.

The ministers from Afghanistan, Armenia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russian Uzbekistan have also participated in the event.

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