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India’s maiden shipment of wheat to Afghanistan flagged off via Chabahar

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India’s maiden shipment of wheat to Afghanistan flagged off via Chabahar

India sent off its first shipment to Afghanistan via Iran’s key strategic port of Chabahar port on Sunday.

The shipment consisted of 1.1mn tons of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on grant basis, as part of commitment made by the Indian government.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Salahuddin Rabbani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif flagged off the shipment through a joint video conference on Sunday.

This was the first shipment going to Afghanistan though the Chabahar port, bypassing Pakistan, after a trilateral agreement on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor was signed between India, Afghanistan and Iran in May 2016.

This development operationalized the Chabahar port, which serves as an alternative trade route for India to connect to Afghanistan. Pakistan has repeatedly refused to allow India access to Afghanistan via its territory.

The Chabahar port will enhance trade and transit between Afghanistan, India and Iran and the wider region.

In addition to investing USD 235mn for Chabahar port expansion, India is also construction a railway line between Chabahar and Zahedan to connect the port to rest of the Iranian railway network, which will ultimately connect India with Russia through the International North South Transport Corridor.



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