Chabahar port project to feature during Rouhani's tour of India

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"Till the recent centuries, Persian language was spoken by most people in the Indian Subcontinent", President Rouhani was quoted as saying on Thursday in a Farsi report by IRNA.

India, Iran and Afghanistan have already signed an agreement to give Indian goods, heading toward Central Asia and Afghanistan, preferential treatment and tariff reductions at the Chabahar port city in southern Iran.

Chabahar port project to feature during Rouhani's tour of India

While speaking to journalists at Tehran airport before leaving for Hyderabad (India), Rouhani said that officials of the two countries will examine development of relations in areas like economy, culture, communications and information technology, healthcare, industry and agriculture.

The Iranian president left Tehran for India's Hyderabad on Thursday morning for the official 3-day trip aimed at strengthening the bilateral ties and reciprocating a visit two years ago by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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Besides his official engagements in Delhi, President Rouhani will also visit Hyderabad.

Rouhani's three-day visit is his first to India since he took office in August 2013.

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During the bilateral talks, the issue of slow progress on the Chabahar Port (trilateral between India-Iran-Afghanistan) is expected to be on the table which Iran feels has got stuck due to the United States pressure on countries and the latest sanctions on Iran. The port is about 72 km from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, which China is developing, Reuters wrote in a report on Rouhani's visit.

'Recently, the developed phase of Shahid Beheshti Port in Chabahar was opened in presence of officials from 17 countries, ' he said, adding that the capacity of the port will be raised to 8.5 million tons in the next phases.

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India-Iran bilateral trade stood at $12.89 billion in 2016-17, according to figures provided by the External Affairs Ministry. The Iranian President will hold delegation-level talks with PM Modi in New Delhi subsequently on Saturday.

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