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India, Afghanistan and Iran set to sign transit agreement.

February 24, 2015
India, Afghanistan and Iran are close to signing a trilateral transit agreement. Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Ambassador of Afghanistan to India, said recently that the draft agreement document was currently being studied by Iran before the formal agreement.

He was speaking at a meeting organised by MCCI.

"The draft agreement has already been okayed by the Afghanistan and Indian governments. Iran's approval will pave the way for the formal accord on a transit route from Afghanistan to the Iranian port of Chabahar," Abdali said.

This will provide an alternative transit route for goods to the one existing through Pakistan.

This will also serve as a precursor to other agreements for cross-border logistics links for goods including evacuation of mineral resources. India and Afghanistan are in negotiations for a road and rail link between central and northern part of Afghanistan and the Iranian port of Chabahar.

The Ambassador suggested that the agreement would remove much of the "technical" hurdles for operationalising the $10.8 billion iron and steel project at Hajigak in Bamian province of Afghanistan by a consortium of Indian steel makers.

The rail and road link projects as well as the Hajigak project have not been hanging fire for "security" issues, but technical hurdles regarding financing and legal infrastructure, he pointed out.

HBL


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