New Delhi: India took an important step on Monday to operate and develop the crucial Iranian port of Chabahar, with the India Ports Global Limited company taking over operations at the Shaheed Behesti port at Chabahar.
This took place on a day when the first meeting of the “Follow-up Committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran” was held in Chabahar.
New Delhi said that during Monday’s meeting, “positive and constructive discussions were held between the three sides on full operationalisation of the Trilateral Transit Agreement for international transit and transport through the Chabahar Port” and that “they agreed on the routes for the trade and transit corridors between the three countries”.
New Delhi further said that “it was agreed to finalise at the earliest the Protocol to harmonise transit, roads, customs, and consular matters” and that “it was agreed to allow cargo movement at Chabahar using TIR Convention provisions”.
It may be recalled that the Chabahar port project will give India sea-land connectivity to Afghanist-an and central Asia through Iran.
The Chabahar project has enabled India to bypass Pakistan which had earlier refused to grant New Delhi access for shipment of wheat through the direct land route to Afghanistan from India that passes through Pakistani territory.
It may also be recalled that just last month, India had welcomed the US waivers given to India to exempt it from sanctions regarding its participation in the Chabahar port project in Iran.
The MEA said, “It was decided to hold an event to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar on 26 February 2019. Also, a study would be initiated for determining measures to make the route attractive and decrease logistic costs.”
Mea on waivers given by the US
On the waivers given by the US on Indian participation in the development of the Chabahar Port in Iran as well as construction of an associated railway line, New Delhi had said it appreciated the fact that the “US recognised the role which this Port will play to bring strategic and long term benefits to Afghanistan as well as enhance Afghanistan’s connectivity with the outside world”.