New Delhi: In a significant sign of trilateral cooperation, the first consignment of wheat from India to Afghanistan, that was flagged off by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani on 29 October, reached the Afghan city of Zaranj near the Iran-Afghanistan border on Saturday via the Iranian port of Chabahar, thereby bypassing Pakistan.
"1st India wheat shipment via #Chabahar welcomed into Zaranj #Afghanistan with traditional song, dance and joy! Proud moment!!," Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan Manpreet Vohra tweeted.
— Manpreet Vohra (@VohraManpreet) November 11, 2017
Vohra said that pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani decorated Zaranj as the shipment arrived.
The shipment to Afghanistan had come in the wake of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's one-day visit to India on 24 October. India is a major development aid partner for strife-torn Afghanistan.
While flagging off the shipment on 29 October, Sushma Swaraj also thanked Iran "for providing assistance in facilitating the movement of this gift through Chabahar Port".
"This shows the convergence between the ancient civilisations of India, Afghanistan and Iran to spur unhindered flow of commerce and trade throughout the region," she said.
The shipment is part of a commitment made by India to supply 1.1 million tonnes of wheat for the people of Afghanistan on a grant basis.
This is the first shipment to go to Afghanistan through Chabahar after the trilateral agreement to develop the port as a transport and transit corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan was signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Iranian and Afghan Presidents Hassan Rouhani and Ashraf Ghani, respectively, in May last year.
Updated Date: Nov 11, 2017 18:04 PM