Iran, India, Afghanistan sign Chabahar transit agreement

Iran, India and Afghanistan sign a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar agreement.

23 May 2016
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Iran, India and Afghanistan sign a key trilateral deal, known as the Chabahar agreement, to establish a strategic transit and transport route connecting the three countries.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday.

Addressing reporters after the signing ceremony, Rouhani said the event marks a historic occasion with regard to relationship between the three countries.

He added that the deal between Tehran, New Delhi and Kabul sends the message that countries in the region can make progress through cooperation and tapping into regional opportunities.

“Today’s document is not only an economic document, rather [it] is a political document and a regional document and the document’s message is that regional countries should use regional opportunities to develop and strengthen the whole of the region,” Rouhani said.

He emphasized that Iran-India-Afghanistan cooperation will serve the interests of the entire region, stressing that Chabahar Port epitomizes such cooperation.

 Highlighting the significance of Chabahar Port, the Iranian president said it can connect India to Afghanistan and Central Asian states.

“With joint investment and activity in Chabahar, we can connect India via a secure route to Afghanistan and the Central Asian and Caucasus states,” he pointed out.

He said other countries have the opportunity to join the agreement in the future.

“Today’s document and agreement will not be against any country and the work among the three countries will be beneficial to the entire region, particularly regional peace and stability,” Rouhani added.

Chabahar is located in the Gulf of Oman on the border with Pakistan. It is Iran’s closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean.

The port will be a game changer for regional connectivity, especially for Afghanistan, which can find an assured and reliable alternative access to India via sea.

The route will also significantly enhance prospects for India’s connectivity with Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond through synergies with other initiatives touching the region such as North-South transport corridor.

Earlier in the day, President Rouhani held separate meetings with President Ghani and Prime Minister Modi.

 

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