December 23, 2019 4:26:10 am
INDIA AND Iran on Sunday agreed to accelerate work on the strategic Chabahar project as External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
The Chabahar port — jointly being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan — is considered a gateway to golden opportunities for trade with central Asian nations by the three countries. It is located on the Indian Ocean in the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran.
Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Iran, co-chaired the 19th Joint Commission Meeting with Zarif. He is also expected to call upon Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“Just concluded a very productive India-Iran Joint Commission Meeting with my co-chair FM Zarif,” S Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting. “Reviewed the entire gamut of our cooperation. Agreed on accelerating our Chabahar project.”
The meeting comes after the US provided a rare exemption to India from sanctions on the Chabahar port in Iran as Washington said it recognised that the strategic project was a lifeline for war-torn Afghanistan to get humanitarian supplies from India.
Jaishankar thanked Zarif for “his cordial welcome and hospitality”.“Had a very good conversation on the regional and global picture with the Iranian foreign minister. India and Iran will work together closely on their shared interests,” he tweeted.
Earlier, Zarif tweeted that the two countries held “excellent discussions on closer bilateral relations & regional & global issues affecting our respective countries”.
“Our ties are ancient, historic & unbreakable,” he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met President Rouhani earlier this month on the sidelines of the high-level 74th Session of the General Assembly.
Modi reaffirmed India’s support for giving priority to diplomacy, dialogue and confidence building for maintaining peace and security in the Persian Gulf amidst tensions in the region, as he held wide-ranging talks with Iranian President on regional and global developments of mutual interest.
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