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Trilateral Transport & Transit Agreement between Iran, India & Afghanistan

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Media Statement by Prime Minister of India during his visit to Iran
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi meeting the President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi meeting the President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, during the Trilateral meeting, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, during the Trilateral meeting, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, witnessing the Signing of Trilateral Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the President of Iran, Mr. Hassan Rouhani and the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, witnessing the Signing of Trilateral Agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi releases the rare manuscript, Persian translation of the Panchatantra (Kalileh Wa-Dimneh), at the inauguration of the International Conference on ‘Retrospect and Prospect’ of India-Iran relations, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi releases the rare manuscript, Persian translation of the Panchatantra (Kalileh Wa-Dimneh), at the inauguration of the International Conference on ‘Retrospect and Prospect’ of India-Iran relations, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing at the inauguration of the International Conference on ‘Retrospect and Prospect’ of India-Iran relations, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing at the inauguration of the International Conference on ‘Retrospect and Prospect’ of India-Iran relations, in Tehran on May 23, 2016.
Your Excellency President Rouhani, I am also grateful to you for the gracious hospitality given to me and my delegation. On behalf of the 1.25 billion Indians, I extend warm greetings to the friendly people of Iran. Through ages, the beauty and richness of the Persian heritage has attracted the world to Iran. For me, visiting Iran, is indeed a great privilege. Excellency, India and Iran are not new friends. Our dosti is as old as history. Through centuries, our societies have stayed connected through art and architecture, ideas and traditions, and culture and commerce. As friends and neighbours, we have shared interest in each other’s growth and prosperity, and joys and sorrows. We can never forget that Iran was among the first countries to come forward in support when earthquake struck my state, Gujarat, in 2001. Similarly, India is proud to have stood with the people of Iran during your difficult times. I compliment the leadership of Iran for their far-sighted diplomacy. Excellency, We had last met in Ufa in 2015. Your leadership and the clarity of your vision have deeply impressed me. In our meeting today, we focused on the full range of our bilateral engagement. We exchanged views on the emerging regional situation and global issues of common concern. The agenda and scope of our partnership is truly substantial. The outcomes and agreements signed today open a new chapter in our strategic partnership. The welfare of our people is guiding our broad based economic ties. Expanded trade ties, deeper connectivity, including Railways partnerships in oil and gas sector fertilizers education and cultural sphere are driving our overall economic engagement. The bilateral agreement to develop the Chahbahar port and related infrastructure, and availability of about US$ 500 million from India for this purpose, is an important milestone. This major effort would boost economic growth in the region. We are committed to take steps for early implementation of the agreements signed today. Friends, Later today we are going to sign the trilateral Transport and Transit Agreement with participation of Iran, India and Afghanistan. It will be a historic occasion. It will open new routes for India, Iran and Afghanistan to connect among themselves. India and Iran also share a crucial stake in peace, stability and prosperity of the region. We also have shared concerns at the spread of forces of instability, radicalism and terror in our region. We have agreed to consult closely and regularly on combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime. We have also agreed to enhance interaction between our defence and security institutions on regional and maritime security. Friends, The past history of our ties has been rich. President Rouhani and I would leave no stone unturned to work for its glorious future. Our friendship will be a factor of stability in our region. Later today, I look forward to calling on His eminence the Hon’ble Supreme Leader to advance our ties further. Excellency Rouhani, I look forward to welcoming you in India to carry forward the agenda of our engagement Where we are now and where we could be is most beautifully said in a couplet from Ghalib. Let me end with it: जनूनत गरबे नफ्से-खुद तमाम अस्त ज़े-काशी पा-बे काशान नीम गाम अस्त [Means: Once we make up our mind, the distance between Kaashi and Kaashan is only half a step]
Remarks by Prime Minister at Chabahar Connectivity event Your Excellency Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Your Excellency Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Honourable Ministers Ladies and Gentlemen A famous poet of Persia, Hafez once said: रोज़े- हिज्रो-शबे-फ़ुर्क़ते-यार आख़र शुद ज़दम इन फ़ालो-गुज़श्त अख़्तरो कार आख़र शुद् [Meaning: Days of separation are over; night of wait is coming to an end; Our friendship will stay forever.] Today, we are all witnessing creation of history. Not just for the people of our three countries, but for the entire region. To build bonds of connectivity is the most basic of human urges. Today, we seek to fulfil it. We are grateful to Excellency Rouhani for hosting this unique event. Thank you President Ashraf Ghani, for your presence. It truly holds a special significance. It is a privilege to be here. Excellency Rouhani, President Ghani and I have just held detailed discussions on a range of issues. The agenda for economic engagement is a clear priority for us. We stand together in unity of our purpose. To carve out new routes of peace, and prosperity is our common goal. We want to link with the world. But, better connectivity among ourselves is also our priority. It is indeed a new dawn for the region. Excellencies, Iran, Afghanistan and India are deeply aware of the richness and reality of our ancient links. Through centuries, art and culture, ideas and knowledge, language and traditions have formed a common bond between us. Even through turmoil of history, our societies never lost touch with each other. Today, we meet to write new chapters in our engagement. Excellencies, The Agreement on the establishment of a Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor signed just a while ago can alter the course of history of this region. It is a new foundation of convergence between our three nations. The corridor would spur unhindered flow of commerce throughout the region. Inflow of capital and technology could lead to new industrial infrastructure in Chahbahar. This would include gas based fertilizer plants, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and IT. The key arteries of the corridor would pass through the Chahbahar port of Iran. It's very location, on the mouth of Gulf of Oman, is of great strategic significance. Afghanistan will get an assured, effective, and a more friendly route to trade with the rest of the world. The arc of economic benefit from this agreement would extend beyond our three nations. Its reach could extend to the depths of the Central Asian countries. When linked with the International North South Transport Corridor, it would touch South Asia at one end and Europe at another. And, studies show that as compared to the traditional sea routes, it could bring down the cost and time of the cargo trade to Europe by about 50%. Over time, we could even look to connect it with the strong sea and land based routes that India has developed with the Indian Ocean Region and South East Asia. Excellencies, The world of 21st century offers unique opportunities.But, it also poses its own set of challenges.Today, the nature of global engagement requires an attitude more suitable to this century, not the mindset of the century gone by. Today, the watch-words of international tiesare trust not suspicion; cooperation not dominance; inclusivity not exclusion. This is also the guiding philosophy and driving spirit of the Chahbahar Agreement. This will be a corridor of peace and prosperity for our peoples. Motives of economic growth, and empowerment would drive it. It will build our security without making others vulnerable. It would break barriers among our nations and encourage new benchmarks of people-to-people contacts. And, help us to eventually build what we all desire and deserve - a friendly and healthy neighbourhood. Excellencies, The world around us is changing in fundamental ways. And, the lack of comprehensive connectivity is not the only challenge that limits our national growth. Political turmoil and undercurrents of economic stress continue to spread in West Asia. In the Indo-Pacific,rise a mix of political competition and economic opportunities is putting pressure on the existing Asian order. Global economy is yet to fully come out of uncertainty and weakness. Our present growth and future prosperity is under threat from the spread of radical ideas and physical terror. Amidst this landscape, our three countries are blessed with the most potent resource—our youth. Our three nations are estimated to have more than 60 percent of their population under 30 years of age. They are an asset in our national and regional development. We want them to walk the road to knowledge and skills; industry and enterprise. And, not fall victim to the path of guns and violence. I am confident that economic fruits of the Chahbahar Agreement will expand trade, attract investment, build infrastructure, develop industry and create jobs for our youth. The Agreement will strengthen our ability to stand in mutual support against those whose only motto is to maim and kill the innocents. Its success will be a positive vote for peace and stability in the region. Excellencies, It is my strong belief that trade and transit routes should only be a starting point of our journey to greater connectivity. In my vision, the full spectrum of connectivity agenda between Iran, Afghanistan and India should span: • from culture to commerce; • from traditions to technology; • from Investments to IT; • from services to strategy; and • from people to politics. In a way, it is a pledge to: • Realize the imperative of better connectivity; • Establish peace and create stability; • Build economic prosperity and engineer new trade ties; • Curb radicalism and remove shadows of terror; and • Break barriers and spread sweetness of familiarity among our people. History will look back at this effort with nothing but approval and admiration. I compliment Excellencies Rouhani and Ghani for their leadership in guiding this effort.
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About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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