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15 Jan, 2024 16:23

India inks deal on first foreign port project – media

Bilateral discussions with Iran were focused on the International North-South Transport Corridor
India inks deal on first foreign port project – media

Iran and India have signed a bilateral agreement to further develop the Chabahar Port, establishing a “long-term cooperation framework” for the strategic maritime facility located on Iran’s southeastern coast, the Economic Times reported on Monday. 

India’s external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Iran as part of the ongoing high-level exchanges between the two nations, met Iran’s minister of roads and urban development, Mehrdad Bazrpash, for discussions focused on the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

The new long-term deal is set to replace the original agreement, which has been extended every year and only covers India’s operations at the Shahid Beheshti terminal of the Chabahar Port. The newly inked agreement will be valid for ten years and will be automatically extended.

The first phase of Chabahar Port was developed and launched by then-President Hassan Rouhani back in 2017. New Delhi has been heavily invested in the facility, which allows Indian goods to bypass Pakistan and reach land-locked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.

“Detailed and productive discussion on establishing a long-term cooperation framework with respect to Chabahar port. Also exchanged views on the International North-South Transport Corridor,” Jaishankar posted on X.

The INSTC, which passes through Chabahar Port, is primarily used for moving goods from India, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia, by sea, rail, and road. The route is seen as an attempt by New Delhi to create an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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