Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Chabahar port a “golden gateway” to Afghanistan and promised to help in construction of infrastructure that will make it possible to send goods from the port to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.
“We want to strengthen our age-old cultural ties. Landlocked Afghanistan has got a golden gateway in Chabahar,” Modi said.
India and Iran on Saturday signed agreements, including Tehran leasing to New Delhi operational control of part of the Iranian east coast port of Chabahar for 18 months.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also emphasized on the importance of the Chabahar port being jointly built in southeastern Iran, saying it will open the transit route for India to Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asian countries as well as Europe.
The Trilateral Transit Agreement (Chabahar agreement) was signed by transport ministers of India, Iran and Afghanistan in the presence of Modi, Rouhani and Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
The contract entails capital investment of $85 million by India for equipping Chabahar port in southeastern Iran.
The strategically important port will open up the transit route for India to Iran and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.
PM Narendra Modi and President Rouhani also agreed to step up efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan after holding talks in New Delhi.
Modi reiterated India’s commitment to help Afghanistan become “a peaceful, secure, permanent, prosperous and pluralistic country.”
“Looking at our common interests, we are committed to stopping the expansion of such forces that promote international organized crime in terrorism, extremism, illegal drug trafficking, cyber crime and various forms,” Modi noted.
“We want to see our region and the world free from terrorism,” he added.
India has been a key supporter of Afghan government and has poured more than $2 billion into the country since the Taliban were toppled in 2001.