NEW DELHI: Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister asked India to expedite development of a strategic port in Iran to bolster a trade route for land-locked Central Asian countries that would bypass Pakistan.
The port would allow India to transport goods to Afghanistan by sea. Pakistan currently does not allow India to transport through its territory to Afghanistan.
Last year, India committed up to $500 million for the development of the Chabahar Port along with associated roads and rail lines.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj responded that India would speed up the port development and begin supplying wheat to Afghanistan within weeks through Chabahar.
In his new Afghanistan strategy unveiled last month, United States President Donald Trump asked India to do more to help Afghanistan’s development.
Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani also asked India to expand an air freight corridor introduced between the two countries in June to provide greater access for Afghan goods to the Indian market.