Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra held discussions with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Sunday.
The talks focused on enhancing connectivity through the strategic Chabahar port and addressing the current situation in West Asia stemming from the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
During his visit to Tehran, the foreign secretary also co-chaired a meeting of India-Iran Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) alongside Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Ali Bagheri Kani.
Regarding Kwatra’s discussions with Amir-Abdollahian, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi mentioned that both parties reached a consensus to enhance the existing cooperation across various domains.
“Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra called on FM @Amirabdolahian of Iran in Tehran today,” Bagchi said on X.
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra called on FM @Amirabdolahian of Iran in Tehran today.
Discussed bilateral matters, connectivity projects including Chabahar port, and shared perspective on current challenges in the region. Both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing… pic.twitter.com/mCmA0FkOk4
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) November 26, 2023
“Discussed bilateral matters, connectivity projects including Chabahar port, and shared perspective on current challenges in the region. Both sides agreed to further strengthen the ongoing cooperation in various spheres,” he said.
Kwatra’s visit to Tehran assumes significance as it came amid growing global concerns over the hostilities between Hamas and Israel. The two sides agreed on a four-day ceasefire from Friday.
On the FOC, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relationship, including connectivity projects such as Chabahar port, political engagements, trade and economic relations, capacity building initiatives and people-to-people ties.
“They also exchanged views on current regional and global issues, including developments in Afghanistan and Gaza,” the MEA said in a statement.
“The Indian side appreciated Iran’s participation in the Voice of Global South Summits held this year,” it said.
Kwatra also met Iran’s deputy foreign minister for economic diplomacy Mehdi Safari.
Bagchi said the discussions focused on concretising India’s engagement in the development of the Chabahar port as a connectivity project.
“Avenues of increasing broader trade and investment ties were also reviewed,” he said.
Situated in the Sistan-Balochistan province along Iran’s energy-rich southern coast, the Chabahar port is a collaborative development between India and Iran aimed at enhancing connectivity and trade relations.
India has actively advocated for the Chabahar port project, emphasizing its potential to foster regional trade, with a particular focus on facilitating connectivity to Afghanistan.
During a connectivity conference in Tashkent in 2021, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the significance of the Chabahar port as a pivotal regional transit hub, particularly for connectivity to Afghanistan.
Additionally, the Chabahar port is recognized as a crucial center for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project. The INSTC is a comprehensive multi-mode transport initiative spanning 7,200 kilometers, designed to facilitate the movement of freight among India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe.
-By Agency Input