US hopes India's trilateral pact with Iran, Afghanistan will boost regional trade
Washington, Aug.28 (ANI): The United States has said that it will support any initiative or agreement that will help boost regional trade between India, Afghanistan and Iran, as they are neighbours, but added that its stand on any country participating in the XVIth NAM Summit in Tehran this week is already well known.
Briefing media here, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said of the Chabahar Port pact: Well, as you know, this happened on the margins of the NAM meeting. We've been pretty clear about how we feel about anybody participating in the NAM meeting. That said, these three countries are neighbors; they have to get along. We are obviously interested in increased trade and commerce back and forth there, so anything that ameliorates that situation is something that we would support.
When asked whether the development of this port would further help Afghanistan in trade and commerce, Nuland said: Well, that would be the hope, if they're going to move forward, that it will further embed Afghanistan in a positive, growing region along the lines of the Silk Road initiative that we've been supporting.
She also said that she had no comment to offer on whether Washington had conveyed to India its reaction to the Chabahar Port agreement.
I don't have anything for you on that one way or the other, she said.
The trilateral meeting took place between the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Iran and Afghanistan, and Foreign Secretary of India in Tehran on Sunday.
A joint statement issued in Tehran said: The objective of the meeting was to explore ways to expand trade and transit cooperation, including investment, among the three countries starting with the Chahbahar Port.
It was agreed that a Joint Working Group (JWG) comprising representatives of the three countries would meet within next three months at Chahbahar to take the discussions forward, it said further.
It was agreed that the exact date of the meeting would be decided through diplomatic channels, the statement concluded. (ANI)