India has committed $500mn to the Chabahar port, which it hopes will allow the port to bypass rival Pakistan's, despite its key ally, the United States, taking a tougher approach to Iran. But New Delhi has proceeded cautiously at a time when the United States administration has taken an aggressive new approach toward Tehran.
In the first phase, India will invest about $200 million (approx Rs. 1,346 crore) to develop cargo berths and terminals, while a 500-kilometre railway line will be constructed between Chabahar and Zahedan - the capital city of Iran's Baluchestan province - in the second phase.
Swaraj said India remains committed to working closely with its regional and worldwide partners to restore peace, security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan.
"Reiterating the importance of Chabahar as a hub for regional economic connectivity and their commitment to work towards this objective, the Ministers commended the joint efforts of the three countries in the recent successful transit of wheat from India to Afghanistan through Chabahar", it said. "We are happy that the first wheat shipment for Afghanistan has been sent to the country's people via the Iranian port", Rouhani said. "We welcome other ports in the region, we welcome Gwadar's development", he said.
Earlier previous year, the Indian government committed to invest up to $500 million for the development of the Chabahar port and other roads and rail lines associated with it.
The statement said, "The completion of the internal procedures on the ratification process by Iran is expected to lead to full and early operationalisation of the Transit and Trade arrangement between the three countries though the Chabahar port..."
The ministers agreed to further intensify efforts on issues concerning regional connectivity and focussing on the Chabahar Port development under the trilateral transit and trade agreement at the trilateral meeting.
Shahid Beheshti Port will be regarded as a new development stage for the province, President Rouhani said in Sunday's event.
A day earlier, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Javed Zarif in Tehran to review the implementation of the Chabahar Port, the Indian media said.