Indian Premier Arrives

Indian Premier Arrives
Indian Premier Arrives

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Tehran on Sunday to boost bilateral relations, particularly in the fields of energy and transport.

His stay is to coincide with a visit by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to the Iranian capital where Iran, Afghanistan and India are scheduled to sign a deal on the development of the Port of Chabahar on Iran's southeastern coast, known as the Chabahar Transit and Transport Agreement.

The accord is aimed at boosting connectivity between the three countries.

Leading a high-level delegation of politicians, economists and cultural dignitaries, Modi has paid the state visit to hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani and other senior Iranian officials, IRNA reported.

It is expected that in his meeting with Rouhani, efforts to promote peace and stability at both regional and global levels will be discussed in addition to talks on mutual trade ties.

Discussions on the development of Chabahar Port, investment in oil projects, commercial transactions and the signing of memorandums of understanding on cultural interactions between Iran and India top Modi's agenda in Tehran. Other planned areas of cooperation are transportation, science and higher education.

According to Modi, his visit marks a "new chapter" in relations between India and Iran. He has also touted Chabahar Port as a regional hub for transportation, commerce and energy exports.

Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone has recently allocated 50 hectares on the Makran coastal strip to Afghan businessmen. So far, 130 companies have been registered in Chabahar by Afghan citizens.

The rapidly growing number of such companies bears testimony to the enthusiasm of Afghan investors for participating in the commercial activities taking place in Makran.

Chabahar is the nearest commercial port to Afghanistan. Due to troubled ties with its southern neighbor Pakistan, Kabul is shifting its major trade routes elsewhere to India and Central Asia, particularly Chabahar.

Early January, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah led a ministerial delegation to Iran and visited Chabahar to review the goods exported from and imported to Afghanistan via the port.