In this handout photo released by Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 24, 2019, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (right) greets his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad. (HANDOUT / PAKISTAN'S MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS / AFP)
TEHRAN - Iran says it is ready to connect Pakistan's Gwadar port to Iran's Chabahar port to promote trades, Press TV reported on Friday.
I've come here with a proposal for the government of Pakistan for connection between Chabahar and Gwadar... We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other
Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister, Iran
The proposal was put forward by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif upon his arrival in Pakistan's capital Islamabad on Thursday.
"I've come here with a proposal for the government of Pakistan for connection between Chabahar and Gwadar... We believe that Chabahar and Gwadar can complement each other," Zarif said.
"We can connect Chabahar and Gwadar, and then through that connect Gwadar to our entire railroad system, from Iran to the North Corridor, through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and also through Azerbaijan, Russia, and through Turkey," he was quoted as saying.
Iran, India and Afghanistan signed a trilateral transit agreement in Tehran in May 2016, which allows the three countries to open new routes of connection by converting Chabahar port into a transit hub.
According to another agreement signed on Feb 17, 2018, Iran allowed India to operate its southern port Shahid Beheshti, a move that could enable India to dodge Pakistan and reach markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.
Based on the deal, Iran granted the operational rights of Shahid Beheshti, located in Chabahar port city area on the northern side of the Sea of Oman, to India for 18 months.
In this photograph taken on Oct 4, 2017, Pakistani labourers walk through Gwadar port. (AMELIE HERENSTEIN / AFP)
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