MEHR: The first trilateral political consultation between the ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, India and Armenia was held in the Armenian capital, Yerevan on Thursday.
In a move aimed at strengthening regional co-operation, India, Iran and Armenia have formed a trilateral grouping, WION news website reported.
The delegations were led by Mnatsakan Safaryan, the deputy foreign minister of Armenia, Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, the assistant to the foreign minister of Iran, and JP Singh, the joint secretary of the ministry of external affairs of India according to Armenia's foreign ministry.
"During the meeting, the sides particularly discussed economic issues and regional communication channels, outlined the prospects of deepening cultural and people to people contacts as well as trilateral cooperation in various fields," read a readout from the Armenian foreign ministry.
The three countries have decided to "continue consultations" in the format, the readout explained. The trilateral meeting discussed the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), a freight corridor connecting India, Iran, and Russia, aimed at reducing costs and time in the movement of goods from Mumbai to Moscow. The INSTC agreement was signed by Russia, Iran, and India in 2002 and has since expanded.
Bilateral relations between the three countries have been robust, with high-level engagement in recent months.
India and Iran have historic ties, with the two countries sharing a common cultural heritage. The Chabahar port in Iran has been key to connectivity between the two sides. India has provided equipment worth $25 million to aid in the development of the port, including six mobile harbor cranes.
Iran and Armenia, which share a border, also have robust ties. Last year, Iran opened a consulate in Armenia's Kapan. The two countries have also been working together to enhance trade and economic cooperation with Armenia serving as a transit route for Iran to access the Eurasian Economic Union. The trilateral grouping between India, Iran, and Armenia is expected to pave the way for greater cooperation in a range of areas, including trade, investment, energy, and transportation.