Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Foreign Minister on important Chabahar port agreement with Iran

As Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal leaves for Iran on Monday for the expected signing of the Chabahar port deal, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday said the possible signing of the agreement between India and Iran will pave the way for big investments and help India get the Central Will be connected to the port. Asia.

“On the Chabahar agreement, I think my cabinet colleague Sarbananda Sonowalji is going to Iran today and hopefully we will see a long-term agreement between India and Iran on Chabahar. We are running it on an ad-hoc basis. The reason for this is not any problem on the Indian side. The issue was that there were actually a lot of problems as to who would be the combination of partners in Iran,” he said while speaking to the media in Mumbai.

“Therefore we believe that whenever a long-term arrangement is concluded, it will pave the way for major investments to be made in the port. Right now, the port has not developed because we haven’t really, you know, it is very difficult to invest in the port if you don’t have a long-term agreement. So the very clear expectation is that Chabahar port, at least the part of Chabahar port in which we are involved, will definitely see more investment,” he said.

The minister also highlighted the India-Middle-East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) agreement that was reached during the G20 summit hosted by India last year and said the Chabahar port will connect the International North-South Transport Corridor.

“This will bring forth more connectivity linkages from that port. And we believe today that connectivity is a huge issue in that part. The International North-South Transport Corridor, which we are doing with Iran-Russia, Chabahar will also connect us to that, to Central Asia,” he said.

“We have a separate corridor, the IMEC corridor through Saudi Arabia. So I think I’ll wait for the agreement to be ratified, you know, until it’s done, nothing is done,” he said.

Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal boarded a special Indian Air Force flight to Iran on Monday and is expected to sign the crucial Chabahar port agreement between the two countries, reliable sources said.

The agreement will enable India to lease the Chabahar port located on Iran’s coast along the Gulf of Oman on a long-term lease.

This strategic masterstroke will open a new trade route between South Asia and Central Asia through Iran, bypassing Karachi as well as Gwadar ports in Pakistan.

It also opens a new door of economic opportunities for business communities to explore alternative transit routes through the sensitive and busy Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

The contract to operate the Chabahar port will mark another major milestone in India’s growing maritime reach in the region following the launch of the Sittwe port in Myanmar, both aimed at neutralizing the growing Chinese presence in the region. Sarbananda Sonowal had inaugurated the Sittwe port in Myanmar exactly a year ago – in May 2023.

Iran’s Chabahar port is seen as a key component of India’s connectivity initiative, it is of utmost importance as it provides a viable and short route for trade between India, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

India aims to make Chabahar port a transit hub under the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to reach CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries. INSTC is India’s vision to economize the movement of goods between India and Central Asia, and the Chabahar port will act as a commercial transit hub for the region.

INSTC is a multi-modal transport route that connects the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf to Northern Europe via the Caspian Sea via Iran and St. Petersburg in Russia.

INSTC envisages movement of goods from Mumbai by sea to Shahid Beheshti Port – Chabahar (Iran), from Chabahar to Bandar-e-Anjali (an Iranian port on the Caspian Sea) by road and then from Bandar-e-Anjali. Has been. By ship across the Caspian Sea to Astrakhan (a Caspian port in the Russian Federation), and then from Astrakhan to other regions of the Russian Federation and further to Europe by Russian Railways.

Also read: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal may sign important Chabahar port deal with Iran

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