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India and Iran to discuss Afghanistan, connectivity and much more next week

The talks between the two sides are expected to be related to the Connectivity issues, especially the Chabahar Port and Transit Trade opportunities; International North-South Transport Corridor status as well as strengthening of trade relations.

India Iran talks, India Iran news, India Iran connectivity, Chabahar Port, India Iran trade talks, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, after taking over as the Foreign minister of his country has been in regular touch with his Indian counterpart (Image source: Reuters)

Next week, Iran’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is arriving in New Delhi. This is the minister’s first visit to India since taking over as a minister in 2021. The minister, according to sources, will be on a three days visit before he flies to Sri Lanka on Tuesday. He will arrive late Sunday evening (January 30, 2022) and on Monday, he is expected to meet with his counterpart Dr S Jaishankar, and visit Hyderabad too.

What is expected to be the focus of talks?

The talks between the two sides are expected to be related to the Connectivity issues, especially the Chabahar Port and Transit Trade opportunities; International North-South Transport Corridor status as well as strengthening of trade relations.

Afghanistan under Taliban 2.0 as well as other regional issues is also on the agenda of talks.

Chabahar Port: The operations at the port started back in December 2018, and so far it has handled almost 8200 TEUs and 1.28 million tonnes of bulk cargo.

As reported earlier, India is in the process of developing the first phase of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. Last January, India had handed over to the Iranian government two 140-tonne cranes for loading and unloading equipment.

The cranes sourced from Italy were part of a consignment of six Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHC) worth about USD 25million.

India & Iran

This is the first inward visit by a foreign dignitary. The foreign ministers of India and Iran have been keeping in touch telephonically. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, after taking over as the Foreign minister of his country has been in regular touch with his Indian counterpart. And on January 8, 2022, he had a telephone conversation where both sides talked about various issues as well as the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. Iran has also offered its help in transporting humanitarian aid to Afghanistan which includes medicines and food.

Since the fall of the government in Afghanistan, New Delhi and Tehran have been in regular touch with each other. And, as has been reported earlier, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani had visited India last November to take part in the regional security dialogue on Afghanistan.

India had also sent out supplies of Covaxin covid vaccine to the country.

Visit to Sri Lanka

His visit to Sri Lanka comes close on the heels of the two countries inking an agreement under which Sri Lanka has agreed to pay with tea for its oil imports.

What is this deal between Iran and Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has to pay Iran USD 251 million for the oil it has imported from there. Colombo has decided to send tea worth USD 5 million to that country. The payment has been pending for almost four years.

It is expected that the move of bartering will help Sri Lanka save its foreign currency.

The visit to India and Sri Lanka by the Iranian minister comes after he concluded his visits to China and Russia and his meetings with his counterparts there.

During his visit to China, the 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement between the two was announced.

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