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Iran, Afghanistan, India Sign Deals To Turn Iranian Port Into Trade Hub

An undated photo of the Chabahar port.
An undated photo of the Chabahar port.

Iran, Afghanistan, and India have signed a trilateral agreement to turn the Iranian port of Chabahar into a transit hub between the three countries, bypassing Pakistan.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi witnessed the signing of the accord in Tehran on May 23.

"Today is an important and historical day of development of relations between the three countries," Rohani said.

The deal will “significantly increase the use of Chabahar port and connect India to Central Asia through Afghanistan and also provide Afghanistan access to India through the sea,” according to the Iranian presidency.

Earlier on May 23, Iran and India signed a bilateral agreement to develop Chabahar in southeast Iran.

Modi said India would invest up to $500 million to develop the port.

The Indian prime minister described the bilateral deal as “an important milestone” that will help boost economic growth in the region, while Rohani said the project could “turn into a very big symbol of cooperation” between the two countries.

Modi and Rohani also witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements in the fields of aerospace, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and counterterrorism.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP