New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs announced that India will commemorate ‘Chabahar Day’ on Thursday (March 4) on the margin of Maritime India Summit 2021. Ministers from over six countries, namely Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan will take part in the virtual meet.
Transport minister of Afghanistan Qudratullah Zaki, Armenia’s Infrastructure minister Suren Papikyan, Iran’s Minister of Roads Mohammad Eslami, Russia’s Deputy Minister of Industry Oleg N Ryazantsev, Uzbekistan’s Deputy Minister of Transport Choriyev Jasurbek Ergashevich and India’s Minister of State for ports Mansukh Mandaviya will be present at the virtual meet which will be addressed by S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of india.
The External Affairs Minister emphasised upon the importance of regional connectivity and said, “The Government of India, recognising the importance of regional connectivity, made a landmark decision to undertake an overseas port investment in Chabahar. While this project had been under discussion for some time, it was during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in 2016 that a Trilateral Agreement to establish an International Transport and Transit Corridor that was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.”
“The Chabahar port has not only emerged as a commercial transit hub for the region but also facilitated the delivery of humanitarian assistance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The port is part of our shared commitment towards peace, stability and prosperity of the people of Afghanistan. India has utilized the Chabahar port to ship 75,000 MT of wheat as humanitarian food assistance to Afghanistan in September 2020,” Jaishankar added.
Jaishankar also praised Uzbekistan and Afghanistan’s effort of joining this multilateral corridor project. “The International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is an important trade corridor project, wherein India is partnering with 12 countries to establish an economic corridor for the benefit of our peoples. We also welcome the interest of Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to join the multilateral corridor project,” he said.
Earlier, while speaking on the importance of Chabahar, Minister of State for ports Mansukh Mandaviya said, “Chabahar port is an important destination, and we are developing it. Two cranes have been put. I will be going and inaugurating it. Chabahar connects us to CIS countries…this will increase connectivity to Europe. Chabahar port is important”
Chabahar in Iran is key to India’s westwards connectivity, providing inroads to Afghanistan and central asia and the key to the north-south international transport corridor linking Mumbai with Moscow. January saw India sending 2 cranes for the port, and the next few months will see 4 more cranes being sent that will increase the efficiency of the port.