UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.4327
TO BE ANSWERED ON 21.03.2018
IRANIAN PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO INDIA
4327. SHRI RATTAN LAL KATARIA:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state
(a) whether during the recent visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, India and Iran have agreed for closer cooperation in the fields of energy, banking and counter terrorism;
(b) if so, the details in this regard;
(c) whether India and Iran have discussed various agreements and the future course of action on Chabahar and India's contribution to the Chabahar railways;
(d) if so, the details in this regard;
(e) whether India has described Chabahar as the gateway to Afghanistan and the Central Asian region; and
(f) if so, the details of agreements made between India and Iran to make transit and trade the core of bilateral relations?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V.K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) and (b) Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran paid a visit to India from 15-17 February 2018. During the visit, 9 bilateral Agreements and MoUs were exchanged between the two countries.
On Energy, India and Iran agreed to develop a long term strategic partnership and increase the pace of negotiation for reaching appropriate results on energy cooperation, including Farzad B gas field.
On banking, India and Iran agreed on the deepening of trade and investment cooperation and recognized the need to put in place an effective banking channel for business transactions. Both countries also agreed to set up a Joint Committee of officials to examine feasible options to establish functional payment channels.
On counter-terrorism, the two countries agreed to enhance regular and institutionalized consultations between the respective National Security Councils and others concerned on terrorism, security and related issues such as organized crime, money-laundering, drug trafficking and cyber crime and jointly called on the international community to end selective or partial approaches to combating terrorism and, in this regard, stressed the need to make every effort to reach an agreement on and conclude a comprehensive convention on international terrorism at the UNGA.
(c) to (f) Promoting multi-modal connectivity within and across the region constituted a key element of the visit. The recent developments including successful inauguration of the Phase-1 of Chabahar Port in early December 2017; the ratification of the Trilateral Agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan on Establishment of International Transport and Transit Corridor by all sides; and the successful shipment of wheat assistance from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar Port were described as having opened a new gateway to and from Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.
During the visit, both countries reiterated their commitment for early and full operationalisation of Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar. A lease contract for Shahid Beheshti port of Chabahar during the interim period was signed between Port and Maritime Organization (Iran) and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL). India conveyed its readiness to support the development of Chabahar-Zahedan Rail line. Iranian side conveyed that it would organise a business promotion event, with participation of countries from the region and beyond, with the objective of showcasing the economic opportunities offered by the Chabahar Port.