Ahead of Russia visit, EAM Jaishankar to meet Iran’s foreign minister today

New Delhi: External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar will make a stopover in Iran later today (July 7) and hold a meeting with Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif. The key focus during the meeting will be on Afghanistan as the Taliban continues to make rapid advancements. 

He is expected to reach the country at around 3 pm IST. EAM will make a stopover in Iran’s capital Tehran while going to Moscow. He is going to Russia for the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC). EAM had made a similar stopover in Iran in September of 2020 while on his Moscow visit.

Both countries have been working on Chabahar port project which has been the key pillar of connectivity, especially to Afghanistan. Earlier this year, India supplied cranes for the post. India is involved with the development of phase-I of the Shahid Beheshti port in Chabahar. In December 2018, an Indian company, India Ports Global Limited (IPGL) took over the port operations, and as of December 2020, the port has handled 1.75 million tonnes of bulk cargo and more than 13000 TEUs of container cargo.

India used the port to send 75,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan in 2020 as part of the humanitarian aid amidst the covid pandemic. India also supplied 20,000 liters of the pesticide Malathion 96% ULV to Iran via Chabahar port in 2020 to help Iran curb the menace of desert locusts. 

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