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India joins ‘Ashgabat Agreement’ for better connectivity with Central Asia

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

In a move that will strengthen India’s connectivity with Central Asia, New Delhi, has been admitted to the Agreement on the Establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor between the Governments of Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Turkmenistan, as depository State of the ‘Ashgabat Agreement’ signed in 2011, has informed India that all the four founding members have consented to its accession to the agreement which would come into force Saturday.

 The ‘Ashgabat Agreement’ envisages facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. Accession to the agreement would  diversify India’s connectivity options with Central Asia and have a positive influence on the country’s trade and commercial ties with the resource-rich region, Indian officials say.

Upon receipt of approval of the Union Cabinet for India’s accession to the ‘Ashgabat Agreement’, India had deposited the Instrument of Accession with Turkmenistan in April 2016.

 The ‘Ashgabat Agreement’ will also synchronise with the International North–South Transport Corridor encompassing Ship, rail including Trans-Caspian railway,  and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia. The route primarily involves moving freight from India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road.