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Iran, India Vow To Do More To Stabilize Afghanistan

Iranian President Hassan Rohani waves to supporters after his arrival at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad on February 15.

Iran and India have vowed to step up cooperation to restore peace and stability in war-wracked Afghanistan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement after talks with visiting Iranian President Hassan Rohani in New Delhi on February 17.

Modi said the two countries aimed to improve energy security and regional transport links to reach landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia by developing Iran's Chabahar Port as well as road and rail routes.

Rohani said Iran and India "are prepared for joint ventures in the gas and petroleum sectors."

Rohani’s three-day visit to India, which ended on February 17, was aimed at drumming up business.

He said Afghanistan must be "a vivacious and secure country," adding that Iran and India would also cooperate in dealing with the situations in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

India is helping Iran develop Chabahar Port on the Gulf of Oman for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan, which has refused to provide New Delhi access through a land route.

India committed up to $500 million for the development of Chabahar.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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