Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Chabahar port in Iran to be inaugurated today

Chabahar port in Iran to be inaugurated today

The treaty allows the three countries open new routes among themselves via converting the Iranian southeastern port of Chabahar into a transit hub.

According to Iranian state media, the inauguration of the port was attended by delegates from 27 countries. For India, the port is strategically important since it strengthens a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries bypassing rival Pakistan. But New Delhi has proceeded cautiously at a time when the USA administration has taken an aggressive new approach toward Tehran.

During his two day visit on December 2-3, Radhakrishnan represented India in the second India-Iran-Afghanistan ministerial-level trilateral meeting on the Chabahar Port development. It is also considered by India as a gateway for trade with the landlocked Central Asian Republics, besides Afghanistan.

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The project was constructed by Khatam al-Anbia, the largest Iranian contractor of government construction projects, reported Associated Press.

The extension required an investment of $1 billion, including $235 million from India. Terming the consignment as a gift to the Afghans, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj then said that the country is committed to work closely with its global and regional partners "to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan".

"We are happy that the first wheat shipment for Afghanistan has been sent to the country's people via the Iranian port", Rouhani said, according to IRNA news agency.

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Shahid Beheshti Port will be regarded as a new development stage for the province, Rouhani said, adding that the capacity of the port is 8.5 million tons. "It was also made a decision to convene an expert level meeting of senior officials of the three countries at the earliest", the statement said.

There was also agreement on the need for an integrated development of connectivity infrastructure including ports, road and rail networks that "would open up greater opportunities for regional market access and contribute towards the economic integration and benefit of the three countries and the region", the statement added.

Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif held a meeting on Saturday in Tehran and discussed about the Chabahar port project among other issues.

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