The officials of Afghanistan, Iran and India held wide-ranging talks during a two-day summit in Tehran on a trilateral agreement that will facilitate the transit of goods from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
According to government sources, over the past two days, the officials from the three countries sought to finalize the tripartite agreement on the establishment of Chabahar Transit Corridor.
The three parties started talks on the issue in 2013. In December 2013, a draft of a trilateral agreement on the transit of goods from Chabahar was prepared.
Earlier this year, the Iranian Ambassador to Kabul Muhammad Reza Bahrami expressed confidence that the agreement will be finalized soon.
“The signing of this agreement is in favor of Iran, Afghanistan and India,” he told a local news channel in February this year. “Insecurity has been the biggest challenge for Afghan goods, but with the signing of this agreement, this problem will be resolved and Afghan goods will make it to the markets of the region.”
To ensure free and uninterrupted trade, the Afghan government has been mapping several feasible alternative routes, and one of them is Iran’s Chabahar Port.
The three parties started talks on the issue in 2013. In December 2013, a draft of a trilateral agreement on the transit of goods from Chabahar was prepared
Chabahar port, about 75 kms from Pakistan’s Chinese built Gwadar port, holds great strategic and economic significance for both Afghanistan and India.
It has the capacity to handle 2.5 million tonnes a year, which is expected to be increased to 12.5 million tonnes later.
Afghan traders intend to use it as an alternate transit route, which will reduce their dependence on the Pakistani transit route.
Chabahar port is expected to bolster India’s economic ties with landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia.
It will help Indian goods reach four major Afghan cities of Herat, Kandahar, Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif, according to those involved in the project.
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