Three parties agree to finalise Chabahar protocol
Days ahead of external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Tehran, India, Afghanistan and Iran agreed on Friday to finalise a protocol to streamline transit, customs and consular matters at the Chabahar port.
This was decided at the second meeting in New Delhi of the committee formed by the three countries to oversee the Chabahar agreement. The panel also agreed to include Mormugoa and New Mangalore ports, in addition to Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Mundra, Kandla and Cochin, in the designated route under the agreement.
“It was agreed to finalise the protocol to harmonise transit, roads, customs and consular matters...TIR Convention will continue to be used for cargo movement,” said a statement from the external affairs ministry.
India, Afghanistan and Iran signed the trilateral transit agreement or the Chabahar agreement in May 2016. India, which sees the Iranian port as key to bypassing Pakistan to access markets in Afghanistan and Central Asia, took over operations at Shahid Beheshti terminal in Chabahar in December 2018 through a special purpose.
Jaishankar is expected to be in Iran over the weekend to co-chair a Joint Commission Meeting with his counterpart Javad Zarif on December 23, people familiar with developments said.