Speaking at a virtual event marking Chabahar Day at the Maritime India Summit organized by India’s shipping industry, Eslami said that the current implementation trend of the agreement between Iran, Afghanistan, and India is in good condition, adding that full completion of the Chabahar Agreement will accelerate the transportation and transit as well as trade, and it will be the ground for meeting the reciprocal interests of the signatory countries as well as the public welfare in the region.
He said that Chabahar can have competitive advantages for neighbors of Iran regarding transshipment of goods, noting that Chabahar Port by being connected to the rail network will become important in terms of development and it can easily connect neighboring countries like Afghanistan to Central Asia and to the free waters and oceans with the least cost.
He then pointed to the developmental operation at Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar and said India has the unique potential to take advantage of capacities at Chabahar, reiterating that the current capacity of Shahid Beheshti Port in its phase one is 8.5m tons and for its construction, more than $1b has been spent. He added that by improving the transportation and logistics infrastructure of the port, Chabahar can turn into a major hub for petrochemical productions.
Meanwhile, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar proposed the inclusion of Iran’s Chabahar Port in the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and invited Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to join the multi-lateral corridor project.
Addressing the event, Jaishankar said, “INSTC is an important trade-corridor project, wherein India is partnering with 13 countries to establish the economic-corridor for the benefit of our peoples. We also welcome the interest of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to join the multi-lateral corridor project. Establishing an Eastern Corridor through Afghanistan will maximize its potential.”
“India has proposed the inclusion of Chabahar in the INSTC route. I am hopeful that during the INSTC Coordination Council Meeting, member-states will agree to the expansion of the INSTC route to include the Chabahar port and also agree on expanding the membership of this project,” he informed.
INSTC is a 7200-kilometer ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe, and Central Asia. The members of this INSTC project are India, Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Oman, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Bulgaria (observer).
The move reflects India’s strong commitment to work together with all regional stakeholders to enhance connectivity in our region and to provide unhindered access to the sea, to land-locked Central Asian countries through Chabahar Port, said Jaishankar.
The Chabahar port, where an Indian state-run firm – India Ports Global Limited operates Shahid Beheshti Port, is the practical realization of this important initiative to enhance connectivity to Afghanistan and the Central Asian states.
“India has utilized Chabahar Port to ship 75,000 metric tonnes (MTs) 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 MTs of Malathion in June 2020 through Chabahar port,” said Jaishankar.
“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. Port is part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability, and prosperity of people of Afghanistan,” he added.
- source : IRAN NEWS