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A historic deal to develop the Chabahar port in Iran, which will open up access to central Asia, was signed in Tehran on Monday after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Hassan Rouhani.
Ten Facts You Should Know:
1] “Chabahar can become very big symbol of cooperation between Iran and India” said Iran’s President after the pact was signed. PM Modi on the other hand said: “India and Iran are not new friends. Our dosti is as old as history“.
2] This is the first foreign port in which India is involved to this extent. The port in the Gulf of Oman on Iran’s southern coast with Afghanistan will allow India to bypass Pakistan to transport goods to Afghanistan and central Asia using a sea-land route.
3] Pakistan does not allow India to send goods through its territory to Afghanistan and has only recently begun to allow a trickle of Afghan exports to cross through to India.
4] India will help develop the port and invest around $200 million to develop terminals and cargo berths at Chabahar. A 500-km railway line between Chabahar and Zahedan will also be built with Indian collaboration.
5] India’s move is also being seen as a balance to China’s influence in Pakistan. India wants to develop the port as a counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar port, which was built with Chinese assistance and is 72 km from Chabahar.
6] PM Modi was given a ceremonial welcome this morning before his meeting with the Iran President, described by the foreign ministry as a ‘restricted tete-a-tete’.
7] PM Modi’s visit – the first by a Indian Prime Minister in 15 years – comes four months after the sanctions on Iran were lifted and the international community is re-engaging with the nation.
8] Connectivity, energy security and bilateral trade are on top of PM Modi’s agenda. He will also inaugurate an Indian cultural festival in Iran.
9] After arriving in Tehran last evening, the PM tweeted in Persian, “Reached Iran, a land with whom India shares civilisational ties. Hope to enhance economic partnership between our nations.” On Sunday evening, PM Modi addressed the Indian community and visited a Gurdwara in Tehran. Source
10] Before the visit, India has cleared part of its $6.4 billion oil dues to Iran.
Stay tuned for more updates! Jai Hind!
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