Iran, India, Uzbekistan to hold meeting on Chabahar

TEHRAN, Dec. 12 (MNA) – Indian foreign ministry announced that the 1st trilateral meeting among Iran, India, and Uzbekistan on Iran's Chabahar Port will be held online on Dec. 14.

The first trilateral working group meeting will be held virtually on December 14 and will be jointly chaired by deputy ministers of Iran and Uzbekistan and a secretary from India, Hindustan Times reported.

The announcement came a day after Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed during a summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi that a trilateral meeting should be held with Iran to promote Chabahar port.

The report highlighted that "India currently operates one of the terminals of Chabahar port that it has developed. The strategic project has been given a waiver from sanctions imposed by the US on Iran in view of its importance in shipping cargo and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan."

“India welcomes the interest of Uzbekistan to use the Chabahar port as a transit port,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement according to the same report.

“This would open up economic opportunities for the traders and business community of the region. Besides Uzbekistan, other Central Asian countries have also shown interest in using the port. India seeks to cooperate closely with regional countries on this issue,” the statement added.

Following the India-Uzbekistan Summit on Friday, Adarsh Swaika, joint secretary (Eurasia) in the Indian external affairs ministry, said the two sides had discussed how to overcome the lack of overland connectivity. Mirziyoyev gave his in-principle concurrence to joining the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) when Modi reiterated a proposal on Uzbekistan’s participation in the project.

“We ... would welcome any initiative that increases connectivity between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan or with other Central Asian countries,” Swaika said.

Chabahar Port, the only Iranian ocean port, is a strategic port with unique opportunities that can attract investments from Iranian and foreign private sectors.

The development of the Chabahar Port is important for the economic development of regional countries and it is worth noting that endorsing regional agreements with neighboring countries are crucial for Iran so that it can increase its transit share to connect the shores of the Indian Ocean to Russia, northern Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

MNA/PR

News Code 167053

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