Dushanbe, March 29
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif here on Monday and discussed bilateral cooperation, including on the strategic Chabahar Port.
Jaishankar, who arrived in the Tajik capital to attend the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference, would meet leaders of other participating countries on its sidelines.
“Began my Heart of Asia engagements with a meeting with Iranian FM @JZarif. A warm conversation that underlined our convergences. Also discussed our bilateral cooperation, including Chabahar,” Jaishankar tweeted.
In September, Jaishankar made a stopover in Tehran while on his way to Russia to attend a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation and reviewed regional developments with Zarif.
Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran’s southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost trade ties.
Recently, India has supplied the second shipment of equipment to Chabahar port. In January, India had supplied a consignment of two mobile harbour cranes to the Chabahar port, having a total contract value of over USD 25 million.
Development of the Chabahar port will help in expansion of economic and mutual relations between India and Iran as well as give a further boost to the maritime trade between both the countries.
The location of the Chabahar port has strategic advantage and high potential to provide connectivity among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, specially Eastern CIS nations, and boost trade.
On Monday, Jaishankar also met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference here.
“Our discussions focused on Afghanistan-related developments and our bilateral relations,” Jaishankar tweeted after meeting his Turkish counterpart.
The HoA-IP ministerial conference is part of the Istanbul Process - a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan - that was launched on November 2, 2011 in Turkey.
At the conference, the representatives from around 50 countries and international organisations would discuss building regional consensus around the peace process in the war-torn country. PTI
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