In a game-changer for enhancing regional connectivity, India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed a landmark pact for Trilateral Transport & Transit Corridor and another bilateral pact between New Delhi and Tehran. “This can alter the course of region’s history,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi after inking the pact with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani.
Mr Modi is in Tehran for his maiden visit to the emerging regional powerhouse.
“The three-nation pact will strengthen our ability to stand in mutual support against those whose only motto is to maim and kill innocents,” he said, placing the deal against the backdrop of rising terrorism in the region.
Stressing on the importance of connectivity, he said that that the pact will open new routes for India, Iran and Afghanistan to connect among themselves.
“100 years from now historians will remember this day as the start of regional cooperation,” said Mr Ghani.
In a major step forward, India and Iran finally managed to ink the bilateral pact on Chabahar after years of consultations. “The bilateral agreement to develop the Chabahar port and related infrastructure, and availability of about $500 million from India for this purpose is an important milestone,” Mr Modi said.
The Chabahar port is located in the Sistan-Baluchistan Province on Iran’s southern coast. The port is of strategic significance for India as it lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s west coast bypassing Pakistan. Emphasising on the significance of the pact, Mr Modi said: “This major effort would boost economic growth in the region. We are committed to take steps for early implementation of the agreements signed today.”
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