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India welcomes interest of Central Asian countries to use Chabahar Port

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Herons Logistics

NEW DELHI : India welcomed the interest of Central Asian countries to utilize the services of Shahid Beheshti Terminal at Chabahar Port for facilitating their trade with India and beyond, said the joint statement after the India-Central Asia Dialogue here in New Delhi.

The dialogue saw participation from Foreign Ministers of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. It assumes importance due to the ongoing humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
The Foreign Minister of India and five other Central Asian countries emphasized on optimum usage of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as well as the Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor to enhance connectivity between India and the Central Asian countries.
They stressed that connectivity initiatives should be based on the principles of transparency, broad participation, local priorities, financial sustainability and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.
In 2018, Iran and India had signed an agreement worth USD 85 million to develop the Chabahar Port in south-eastern Iran. The port is located in the Gulf of Oman, and provides an alternative route for trade between India and Afghanistan.
The Chabahar port is a key connectivity project to boost trade ties among India, Iran, and Afghanistan.
The ministers welcomed the proposal to include Chabahar Port within the framework of INSTC and expressed interest in cooperation on issues related to the development and strengthening of regional connectivity in Central and South Asia.
“In this regard, the Ministers noted the outcomes of the High-Level International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity; Challenges and Opportunities”, held on 15-16 July 2021 in Tashkent as well as the second India-Uzbekistan-Iran trilateral meeting on the joint use of Chabahar Port in December 2021,” the statement said.
They agreed to continue engagement for further developing the transit and transport potential of their countries, improving the logistics network of the region and promoting joint initiatives to create regional and international transport corridors.
The sides also agreed to explore possibilities to establish joint working group(s), including the participation of the private sector, to address issues of free movements of goods and services between India and Central Asian countries.
External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar hosted the third meeting of this dialogue aimed at further strengthening ties between the member countries, with a particular focus on tradeconnectivity and development cooperation.
Assuring India’s readiness to take diplomatic relations to the next level, Jaishankar in his opening remarks said that India-Central Asia relations must focus on 4Cs — Commerce, Capacity enhancement, Connectivity and Contacts

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