Tabnak – In line with the Islamic Republic’s new foreign policy approach of trying to expand ties with the neighbors, Iranian foreign minister visited Islamabad to hold talks with high-ranking Pakistani officials. Iran has reportedly provided the Pakistani side with a proposal to connect the main ports of the two countries.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he is putting forward a "proposal" during his ongoing trip to Islamabad for connecting Pakistan's Gwadar port to its "complementary" port Chabahar in southeastern Iran.
"We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other," Zarif said upon arrival in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Thursday.
"We can connect Chabahar and Gwadar, and then through that, connect Gwadar to our entire railroad system, from Iran to the North Corridor, through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and also through Azerbaijan, Russia, and through Turkey," he noted.
"I've come here with a proposal for the government of Pakistan for connection between Chabahar and Gwadar.”
Press TV mentions in a report that Pakistan's arch-rival India is trying to develop the port of Chabahar as a way to gain access to the markets of Central Asia as well as Afghanistan by bypassing Pakistan. The port is about 72 km from its Pakistani counterpart Gwadar, which is being developed by China.
The strategic Iranian port city created a unique opportunity for India to send its goods to landlocked Afghanistan through a safe new route. It would to the same effect enable Afghan merchants to export their commodities – mainly fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and minerals – to global markets through Chabahar.
On December 3, 2017, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani officially launched the first phase of Shahid Beheshti International Port in Chabahar. The project to develop Shahid Beheshti Port started in 2007 through an investment that officials previously said already amounted to $1 billion.
The annual cargo tonnage of Shahid Beheshti Port – Iran’s only oceanic port – has now almost tripled to reach as high as 8.5 million tons. It can also accommodate 100,000-ton ships – what officials say can help promote the country’s international trade activities. The overall development project is planned in four phases and is expected to bring the port’s total annual cargo capacity to 82 million tons.
Also during his stay in Islamabad, Zarif attended separate meetings with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
In the meeting between Zarif and Qureshi, the two sides hailed the close and constructive relations between Iran and Pakistan and exchanged views about ways to boost bilateral relations in all political and economic areas.
The latest developments in the Middle East region were also discussed in the meeting between the two countries’ top diplomats.
In a separate meeting on Friday, Zarif and General Bajwa held talks about the importance of common border’s security and stressed the need to boost the campaign against terrorism.
Zarif, who has stepped up diplomatic contacts with Asian governments in recent weeks, arrived in Islamabad on Thursday night for an official visit. In April, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan paid a landmark visit to Iran with a big delegation to sign agreements with Tehran.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.