India to upgrade Iran port

India and Iran on Saturday decided to give a major push to their bilateral ties in all aspects including connectivity for which New Delhi will participate in the upgradation of strategically crucial Chahbahar port.

During a meeting between External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi under the framework of Joint Commission, the two sides agreed to work on a trilateral transit agreement involving India, Iran and Afghanistan.

But it was underlined that the work on the draft agreement should be started soon.
The two sides also discussed ways to enhance trade relations and people to people contact, regarding which the need was felt for liberalising the visa regime.

At the meeting, Khurshid conveyed India’s decision to participate in the upgradation of Chahbahar port. He informed the Iranian side that the Indian government has given in-principle nod to this project. As a follow up, India’s Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, will travel to Tehran for negotiations on cost and other aspects.

The Iranian side underlined that the project is important not only for Iran and Afghanistan but for the entire central Asia.

The two sides also reviewed the progress on the proposed North-South corridor which will link Russia with Iran, with Khurshid saying that any obstructions or any hurdles should be resolved.

Iran’s controversial nuclear programme also came up for discussions and Salehi informed that talks with P5+1 will start in this year.

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