Iran, India to Hold Talks on Chabahar Port Development
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Indian delegation will visit Iran in near future for talks on the development of Iran’s Southeastern strategic port of Chabahar.
The Indian Express daily said that India will soon send a delegation to Iran to discuss upgradation of the strategically important Chabahar port and the two sides will begin negotiations on a trilateral transit agreement to ship goods to Afghanistan.
The two issues were part of discussions between Indian Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani soon after his swearing-in ceremony, senior officials told reporters.
India had held discussions with Iran on the Chabahar port during External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's visit in May.
A delegation from India will soon go to Tehran to discuss the details of the project, they said.
The Government had given in-principal clearance for Indian participation in the project and negotiations will begin soon to work out cost and other issues along with the proposed transit agreement.
The transit agreement involves India, Iran and Afghanistan.
Chabahar port is strategically crucial as it gives access route to Afghanistan. Chabahar port, which is surrounded by a free trade zone, is vital particularly since Pakistan does not allow transit facility from India to Afghanistan.
During the meeting with Rouhani, Ansari said India wants to work closely with its near neighbor.
India and Iran have long economic ties where oil is the biggest item of Indian import from Iran. But India feels there is a lot of scope for increasing Indian exports to the Persian country particularly in pharmaceuticals and food.