Iran offers Pakistan, China participation in India's strategic Chabahar port project

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In a clear setback for India, Iran has invited China and Pakistan to participate in the development of the strategic Chabahar port, which is being built by India for the objective of bypassing Pakistan.

"Although the visit of the Iranian foreign minister will have a remarkable impact on expansion of trade and economic ties, in my opinion the visit will mostly focus on evaluating the current state of the region and clearing up misunderstandings on regional and global issues", she stressed.

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Sources privy to Pakistan High Commission in India, the issue was raised with Ministry of External Affairs and demanded the government to keep a check on security agencies' authorities. Zarif said, "There is no reason for hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia". Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran, he said, while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) yesterday, according to Dawn newspaper. These caveats must be deliberated as the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor approaches completion, with expansions already being explored such as between Gwadar and Chabahar. To underline this, he pointed to Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran's single major foreign policy irritant in its neighbourhood. "We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that", he said.

The invitation extended to Pakistan by the Iranian foreign minister comes at the back of Indian officials repeatedly stating that the port is of strategic importance to India as it will allow India to bypass Pakistan in accessing Afghanistan and central Asia.

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Tehran:Iran has invited Pakistan to become a part of the Chabahar project, Pakistani media have reported. The Chabahar Port, which was developed jointly by India and Iran, was aimed at linking the two countries without having to rely on Pakistan. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

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