India, Iran, Afghanistan to spur trade, transit via ChabaharAugust 27th, 2012 - 12:20 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) Ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, India, Iran and Afghanistan Sunday held a crucial trilateral meeting and agreed to set up a joint working group to spur trade and transit through the Iranian port of Chabahar.
Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai held talks with deputy foreign ministers of Iran and Afghanistan in Tehran to explore ways to expand trade and transit cooperation, including investment, among the three countries, starting with the Chabahar Port.
It was agreed that a joint working group (JWG) comprising representatives of the three countries would meet within next three months at Chabahar to take the discussions forward, said a joint statement after the trilateral talks.
“It was agreed that the exact date of the meeting would be decided through diplomatic channels,” it said.
The meeting, initiated by the Iranian side, also discussed the report by the Indian Ports Association (IPA) on a slew of commercial activities which could be taken up through the port in the sanction-hit country.
India is looking at various possibilities to develop the infrastructure at Chabahar port as an alternative route to Afghanistan that bypasses Pakistan. The meeting acquires an added significance against the backdrop of the phased withdrawal of international combat troops from Afghanistan by 2014.
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