Sunday, July 21, 2024

India’s Chabahar port progress vital for Eurasia connectivity, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted India’s significant strides in developing Iran’s Chabahar Port, underscoring its pivotal role in enhancing connectivity with landlocked Central Asian nations and mitigating trade risks across Eurasia. Speaking through External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Astana, Modi emphasized the strategic importance of the port in fostering regional economic cooperation.

The Chabahar Port, situated on the Gulf of Oman, has been a focal point of India’s regional strategy since 2003, aimed at establishing a direct corridor to Afghanistan and beyond through the International North-South Transport Corridor. This initiative bypasses Pakistan, providing India with critical access to Central Asia and bolstering regional trade dynamics.

Despite challenges posed by US sanctions on Iran, India recently solidified its commitment by signing a decade-long agreement to operate the port, marking a pivotal moment in its foreign policy. The port’s operationalization promises to facilitate smoother transit of Indian goods, including essential aid like wheat shipments to Afghanistan, enhancing regional stability and economic resilience.

“This development not only holds great value for our landlocked Central Asian partners but also de-risks commerce between India and Eurasia,” Modi’s statement reiterated, stressing the inclusive and non-discriminatory nature of the connectivity initiatives advocated by India.

The Modi government’s proactive approach at the SCO Summit underscores its commitment to fostering cooperative frameworks that respect national sovereignty and uphold international trade norms. With Chabahar Port poised to become a linchpin of regional connectivity, India anticipates a transformative impact on trade dynamics across South Asia and beyond.

As India assumes management of Chabahar, it heralds a new era in maritime diplomacy, reinforcing its strategic footprint in the region while forging closer ties with Iran and Afghanistan. The port’s operational expansion is expected to catalyze broader economic engagements, promoting sustainable development and regional integration.

The ongoing developments at Chabahar Port exemplify India’s steadfast commitment to navigating global challenges through collaborative diplomacy, setting a precedent for inclusive growth and connectivity across Eurasia.

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