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India sees Iran’s Chabahar ‘a gateway to golden opportunities’

PTI

Keen on boosting bilateral trade and ties, India and Iran have expressed commitment to operationalize the strategic Chabahar Port at the earliest.

On the sidelines of the inauguration of the second tenure of Hassan Rouhani as the President of Iran, the Indian union minister Nitin Gadkari, representing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, held talks with senior Iranian officials.

In the meetings, both sides reiterated their commitment to complete and operationalize the port at the earliest that would contribute to bilateral and regional trade and economic development.

Once Chabahar is operationalized, which we are hopeful to be in 12 to 18 months’ time, it will prove to be a gateway to golden opportunities to boost trade and business,” Gadkari told PTI.

Chabahar port, located in the energy-rich Persian Gulf nation’s southern coast, is easily accessed from India’s western coast, bypassing Pakistan.

“We are hopeful of ratification of Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement by Iran and once approvals are given, the work will start,” Gadkari said.

The trilateral pact was inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran in May 2016.

The pact envisages establishment of Transit and Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan using Chabahar Port as one of the regional hubs for sea transportation in Iran besides multi-modal transport of goods and passengers across the three nations.

As per an MOU signed between the two nations in May last year, India is to equip and operate two berths in Chabahar Port Phase-I with capital investment of $85.21 million.

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