Jaishankar to embark on 2-day visit to Iran tomorrow

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will embark on a two-day visit to Iran from December 22 for the 19th Joint Commission meeting, which will be co-chaired along with his counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Saturday.

During the visit, the External Affairs Minister is expected to call Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to the MEA.

Jaishankar’s visit comes days after a senior State Department official said that the US has provided a “narrow exemption” to India from sanctions on the Chabahar project in Iran as it plays a vital role in transporting India’s humanitarian supplies to war-torn Afghanistan.

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Meanwhile, the second meeting of the Follow-up Committee for implementation of the trilateral Chabahar Agreement between India, Afghanistan, and Iran at the level of Joint Secretary/ Director General was held here on Friday.

“All the three countries welcomed steady progress in port operations by India Ports Global Ltd company since the taking over of the port operations at Shaheed Beheshti Port at Chabahar in December 2018. It was recognized that over five lakh tons of cargo have been handled successfully. This includes exports from Afghanistan through Chabahar Port which began in February 2019,” the MEA had said in a statement.

In 2018, Iran and India had signed an agreement worth USD 85 million to develop the Chabahar Port in south-eastern Iran.

The Chabahar Port which provides an alternative route for trade between India and Afghanistan is located on the Gulf of Oman.

In 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through the strategic Iranian port.

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