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India, Iran and Uzbekistan to Hold Talks Monday on Joint Use of Chabahar Port | India News

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NEW DELHI: For the first time, India, Iran and Uzbekistan will hold a trilateral dialogue on Monday on joint use of the strategically located port of Chabahar, which is increasingly seen as a fulcrum of connectivity with Central Asia.
The announcement of the meeting was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA).
“The first meeting of the trilateral working group between India, Iran and Uzbekistan on the joint use of the Chabahar port will be held virtually on December 14,” the MEA said.
The port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost trade ties between the three countries in the wake of Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi.
Located in the Sistan-Baluchistan province on the energy-rich southern coast of Iran, the port is easily accessible from the western coast of India, bypassing Pakistan. It is considered an important transit point to connect with several Central Asian countries.
The trilateral meeting takes place in the context of India’s campaign for Uzbekistan’s participation in the North-South International Transport Corridor (INSTC) project.
“India welcomes Uzbekistan’s interest in using the Chabahar port as a transit port. This would open up economic opportunities for the region’s traders and business community,” the MEA said in a statement.
“Besides Uzbekistan, other Central Asian countries have also shown interest in using the port. India seeks to cooperate closely with countries in the region on this issue,” he said.
Ways to accelerate connectivity projects linking Central Asia was one of the main focuses of a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The North-South International Transportation Corridor is a 7,200 km long multimode transportation project to move goods between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
Monday’s meeting would be co-chaired at the vice-minister level by Uzbekistan and Iran, while the Indian delegation would be headed by a secretary-level official.

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