News ID: 231224
Published: 0241 GMT September 11, 2018

India, Iran, Afghanistan meet on Chabahar

India, Iran, Afghanistan meet on Chabahar

India, Iran and Afghanistan held their first tripartite meeting on Tuesday in Kabul to discuss the implementation of Chabahar port project and a host of other issues including ways to deepen cooperation in countering terrorism, officials said.

The Indian delegation was led by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale while the Iranian team was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi. Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai chaired the meeting, PTI reported.

"The meeting focused on consolidating economic cooperation, including Chabahar, as well as enhancing cooperation on counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, and continuing support for the peace and reconciliation process that is led and owned by Afghanistan,” the three countries said in a joint-statement.

It said the three sides agreed to hold the next round of consultations at an appropriate time in India next year.

Sources said the possible impact of the US sanctions on the Chabahar port project also figured in the meeting. The port in Sistan-Baluchestan Province of Iran is being developed by India and Iran.

During the two-plus-two talks last week with the US, India apprised the American delegation about the strategic importance of Chabahar, particularly for enhancing trade with war-ravaged Afghanistan.

The first phase of Chabahar port project was inaugurated by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in December.

Chabahar port is being considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade by India, Iran and Afghanistan with central Asian countries.

Under an agreement signed between India and Iran in May 2016, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase 1 with capital investment of $85.21 million and annual revenue expenditure of $22.95 million on a 10-year lease.


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