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Vinay Kwatra meets Iranian foreign minister in Tehran, discusses Chabahar Port project

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TEHRAN : Foreign Secretary Shri Vinay Kwatra on Sunday discussed with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran about the ways to boost connectivity through strategic Chabahar Port and the current situation in West Asia arising out of the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Foreign Secretary Shri Vinay Kwatra met Dr. Mehdi Safari, Deputy FM for Economic Diplomacy during his ongoing visit to Iran. Discussions focused on concretising India’s engagement in developement of the Chabahar port as a connectivity project. Avenues of increasing broader trade and investment ties were also reviewed.

The foreign secretary was in Tehran to co-chair a meeting of India-Iran Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) along with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for political affairs Ali Bagheri Kani.

On Kwatra’s meeting with Amir-Abdollahian, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation in various spheres.

“Discussed bilateral matters, connectivity projects including Chabahar port, and shared perspective on current challenges in the region. Both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation in various spheres,” he said.

Kwatra’s visit to Tehran assumes significance as it came amid growing global concerns over the hostilities between Hamas and Israel. The two sides agreed on a four-day ceasefire from Friday.

On the FOC, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relationship, including connectivity projects such as Chabahar port, political engagements, trade and economic relations, capacity building initiatives and people-to-people ties.

“They also exchanged views on current regional and global issues, including developments in Afghanistan and Gaza,” the MEA said in a statement.

“The Indian side appreciated Iran’s participation in the Voice of Global South Summits held this year,” it said. Kwatra also met Iran’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy Mehdi Safari. Bagchi said the discussions focused on concretising India’s engagement in development of the Chabahar port as a connectivity project.”Avenues of increasing broader trade and investment ties were also reviewed,” he said. Located in Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran’s southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India and Iran to boost connectivity and trade ties.India has been pushing for the Chabahar port project to boost regional trade, especially for its connectivity to Afghanistan.

At a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar projected the Chabahar port as a key regional transit hub, including to Afghanistan.

The Chabahar port is also seen as a key hub for the INSTC project. The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode transport project for moving freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

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