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India, Uzbekistan agree to exploit full potential of Chabahar Port for trade

India and Uzbekistan on Wednesday11 May agreed to exploit the full potential of the Chabahar port for trade between the two countries as they held extensive talks focusing on greater bilateral economic ties.

The two sides also agreed to take steps to enhance connectivity to boost trade during the 15th round of India-Uzbekistan Foreign Office Consultations that took place in Delhi.

"During the consultations, both sides undertook a comprehensive review of the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation including political, security, trade-economic, connectivity, development partnership, humanitarian and cultural spheres," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

Talks particularly focused on greater economic cooperation

It said the talks particularly focused on greater economic cooperation and steps to enhance connectivity between India and Uzbekistan.

"Both sides agreed to exploit the full potential of Chabahar port for trade between the two countries," it said in a statement.

Located in the Sistan-Balochistan province on the energy-rich Iran's southern coast, the Chabahar port is being developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan to boost trade ties.

In a significant move, India, Iran and Uzbekistan in December held extensive talks on joint use of the Chabahar Port while underlining its importance in enhancing regional connectivity.

They agreed to further enhance cooperation in the UN, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and other multilateral fora.

"Indian side conveyed its full support for Uzbekistan's ongoing chairmanship of SCO. Both sides highly assessed the holding of the 1st India-Central Asia Summit in January and agreed to expeditiously implement its outcomes along with other Central Asian countries," the MEA said.

The consultations were co-chaired by Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the MEA and FurkatSidikov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan.

The last round of FoC was held in the virtual format in November 2020.
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