India to develop Iran's Chabahar port as a gateway to Central Asia
India plans to develop Iran's Chabahar port as a gateway to connect with Central Asia, Indian Deputy Foreign Minister, Vijay Gokhale said.
He was speaking at a "Conference: South Asia in the Indo-Pacific context", being organized by European Parliament Think Tank, CULT.
According to Indian Express, US envoy to India also attended the conference with Foreign Secretary Gokhale.
Gokhale said, “India’s connectivity to our West continues, though, remains blighted. We have sought to bypass an unwilling regime in Islamabad by establishing in June 2017 an air freight corridor between India and Afghanistan, which we plan to expand to more cities”.
He added, “To tap its full potential for benefit of Afghanistan, we might also need to pursue the development of a rail line from Chabahar to Zahedan (south east of Iran) at some future stage”.
Gokhale also mentioned about the development of North-South Transport Corridor that will connect India with Central Asia through Iran.
He said, “There is also potential for the development of the International North-South Transport Corridor which will considerably reduce time and cost of transport from India to Central Asia”.
Earlier, Afghanistan's Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Imam Mohammad Virmoch has said "We try to bring more investors to Chabahar and facilitate transportation of goods and commodities through the port."
In an exclusive interview with Iran Press On 23 Oct. 2018, Virmoch added the meeting in Tehran is meant to follow up on implementation of all agreements between Afghanistan, Iran and India with regards to development of Chabahar port.
Chabahar is a main and the only oceanic port of Iran, located to the far southeast on the Gulf of Oman.