On December 14, 2020, The First Trilateral Working Group (TWG) meeting was held virtually between India, Iran & Uzbekistan to discuss the joint use of Chabahar port in Iran to increase regional connectivity within the 3 countries. The meeting was jointly chaired by Sanjeev Ranjan, Secretary (Shipping), Government of India, D. Dehkanov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Shahram Adamnejad, Deputy Transport Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran.
i.Uzbekistan & Iran supported India’s proposal of holding “Chabahar Day” on the sidelines of the International Maritime Summit, which will be hosted by India in January 2021.
i.All 3 countries noted the significant role played by Chabahar port to deliver humanitarian assistance during the Pandemic.
ii.The TWG meeting is a result of decisions taken during the Virtual Summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev which took place on December 11, 2020.
i.It is located in the Southeastern part of Iran on the Gulf of Oman and is being developed by India.
ii.It is essential for India as it provides a way for India to bypass Pakistan goods to Afghanistan and other countries via sea route.
iii.The port would halve the time and cost of doing business with European & Central Asian Countries.
iv.It also holds strategic importance as it is just 170 kms away from Gwadar Port built in Pakistan by China.
2016 – Trilateral Agreement:
i.In May 2016, India, Iran & Afghanistan signed a trilateral trade and transit agreement to develop the Chabahar Port.
ii.As part of the Agreement, India was granted a 10-year lease to develop and operate 2 terminals & 5 berths and access to Chabahar free trade zone.
Recent Related News:
i.October 29, 2020, India has extended USD 1 Billion (~ INR 7, 400 Crores) Line of Credit for Development Projects in Central Asian Countries.
ii.On 24th August 2020, V Muraleedharan, MoS for External Affairs, Government of India and Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Foregin Economic Relations, Uzbekistan co-chaired the first National Coordination Committee Meeting over a virtual platform.
President – Hassan Rouhani
Capital – Tehran
Currency – Iranian Rial
President – Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Capital – Tashkent
Currency – Uzbekistani soʻm