India, Iran and Uzbekistan will hold a trilateral dialogue on december 14th
on joint use of the strategically located Chabahar port which is being
increasingly seen as a fulcrum of connectivity to Central Asia. The
announcement of the meeting was made by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The first trilateral
working group meeting to be held virtually on Dec 14
"The first trilateral working group meeting between India, Iran and
Uzbekistan on joint use of 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 among the three countries in the wake of
Pakistan denying transit access to New Delhi.
Iran has just completed the laying of railway line to Afghanistan border.
This has come as a boon to the Chabahar port whose volumes are expected to
increase. India is operating two terminals at the port. With the prospects of
opening trade with Uzbekistan, volumes at the indian terminals are bound to
meeting should be seen in the context of the change of guard at the white house
The trilateral meeting should be seen in the context of a possible flexible
US political line against Iran with the change of guard at the white house. The
Nuclear deal which former President Obama signed which was rescinded by President
Trump is likely to be revived.
Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran's
southern coast, the port can be easily accessed from India's western coast,
bypassing Pakistan. It is considered to be a major transit point to connect
with several Central Asian countries.The trilateral meeting is taking place in
the backdrop of India pitching for participation of Uzbekistan in the
International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project.
India welcomes the
interest of Uzbekistan to use the Chabahar port
"India welcomes the interest of Uzbekistan to use the Chabahar port as
a transit port. This would open up economic opportunities for the traders and
business community of the region," 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
regional countries on this issue," it said.
Ways to speed up connectivity projects linking Central Asia was a major
focus of a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbek
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.The International North South Transport Corridor
is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode transport project for moving freight among India,
Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.
Monday's meeting would be jointly chaired at the deputy minister level by
Uzbekistan and Iran while the Indian delegation would be headed by a