Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Phase One of Chabahar Port to be Inaugurated

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of the Chabahar port, opening up a new transit route between Afghanistan, Iran and India that bypasses Pakistan.

The Shahid Beheshti extension was inaugurated in the presence of dignitaries from India, Afghanistan, Qatar and Pakistan.

The three sides also commended the recent joint efforts which led to the transit of first tranche of 110000 tonnes of wheat from India to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port. To isolate Pakistan, the Narendra Modi Cabinet previous year cleared proposals for the development of Chabahar port including a United States dollars 150 million credit from Exim Bank.

It said that the first phase of the Chabahar port project is known as the Shahid Beheshti port.

The port will increase the capacity of loading and unloading of the ships as well as the employment rate in the province, also an official with the Sistan and Baluchestan Ports and Maritime Organization said on the sidelines of the ceremony. For India, the port is strategically important since it strengthens a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries bypassing rival Pakistan.

Ahead of the inauguration, India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had made an unscheduled visit to Tehran on her return from Russian Federation, where she had attended the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Sushma Swaraj was in Sochi to attend the 16th Meeting of the Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of Government.

Swaraj met her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif and discussed about the Chabahar port project among other issues of mutual intrest.

"The people of India, Afghanistan and Iran have been connected through centuries; shared commonalities of art and culture, ideas and knowledge; language and traditions".

India and Iran had signed a bilateral agreement previous year, in which New Delhi would refurbish one of the berths at Shahid Beheshti port, and reconstruct a 600 meter long container handling facility at the port.

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