ZARANJ (NNI): The first shipment of 15,000 metric tons of wheat from India has arrived in Afghanistan via the Chabahar Port in Iran, formally operationalizing the sea route, an official said.
Acting Agriculture and Livestock Minister Naseer Ahmad Durrani told local media that the arrival of wheat grant from India though Chabahar port opened a new chapter of cooperation between Afghanistan, India and Iran.
The three countries signed the Chabahar Port agreement one and a half years back to connect Afghanistan via sea to India, bypassing Pakistan.
The governor of southwestern Nimroz province, Mohammad Sami said, the wheat arrival from India added another page to the relationship between the two countries.
He said in the past Afghanistan goods reached the sea through Bandar Abass of Iran and the Karachi seaport of Pakistan, but the operationalisation of Chabahar port helped cut the distance short.
Iran’s envoy to Afghanistan Mohammad Reza Bahrami said they were pleased to see the Chabahar agreement and port becoming operational. He said Chabahar port never meant rivalry to any other phenomenon, asking for greater cooperation and financial participation in the port’s development.
India envoy Manpreet Vohra congratulated the people of Afghanistan over the arrival of wheat shipment and said until February a total of 110,000 tonnes of wheat would land in Afghanistan.
Earlier, foreign ministers of Afghanistan, India and Iran had flagged off the maiden vessel carrying wheat from New Delhi to Kabul through the Chabahar port.
The Indian government has promised 1.1 million ton of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on a grant basis, according to the Asian News International (ANI).
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani and Javad Zarif of Iran had hailed the first shipment to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port.
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran in May 2016, a three-way deal on establishing the International Transport and Transit Corridor was inked.