India, Iran, Afghanistan sign Chabahar agreement

India, Iran, Afghanistan sign Chabahar port agreement

Tehran, May 23 (IANS) India, Iran and Afghanistan on Monday inked an agreement on the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman that will make it a transport and transit hub to boost trade.

“A corridor of connectivity. The leaders witness the signing if the Chabahar agreement,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

The agreement was signed following a trilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari signed the agreement on India’s behalf.

Earlier on Monday, India and Iran signed three bilateral agreements for the development of Chabahar port.

The agreement to develop Phase I of Chabahar port is seen as India’s counter to the development of the deep-sea port of Gwadar, in Balochistan in Pakistan, located just 72 km away.

The development of Chabahar port will allow India to circumvent Pakistan and open up an alternative land-sea route for its trade with Afghanistan and beyond to Central Asia.

India has already spent $100 million in building the 220-km Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, also known as Route 606, which connects to Chabahar.

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