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Boost to connectivity as Uzbekistan joins north-south transport corridor

The International North-South Transport Corridor connects Mumbai to Moscow and passes through Iran and Azerbaijan.

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Boost to connectivity as Uzbekistan joins north-south transport corridor
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the India-Uzbekistan Virtual Bilateral Summit, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo)
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In a big boost to India's regional connectivity plans, Uzbekistan has given an in-principle nod to join the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). The approval was given by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the virtual summit on Friday.

MEA's Joint Secretary (Eurasia) Adarsh Swaika said, "We had earlier requested President Mirziyoyev to join the INSTC when he had visited India in 2018. The President gave his in-principle concurrence to joining the INSTC. It is a very good development that Uzbekistan in principle, is ready to join INSTC."

The International North-South Transport Corridor connects Mumbai to Moscow and passes through Iran and Azerbaijan. Joining of INSTC is a process that will need to be agreed upon by concerned INSTC member states --- Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, India. 

Efforts of all the stakeholders have been to increase its popularity and earlier this year an agreement was signed between Container Corporation of India and Russian Railways to facilitate the movement of cargo.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan has proposed a trilateral dialogue among India, Iran, and Uzbekistan to promote connectivity through the Chabahar port. India is also working on the viability of an air corridor to Central Asia but suitable points are yet to be identified. It already has an air corridor with Afghanistan. 

Uzbekistan is one of the two countries in the world that is doubly landlocked and is keen on connectivity projects including, a railway connection with Afghanistan. 

During the virtual summit, the first with any central Asian country, India approved 448 million lines of credit for four developmental projects in Uzbekistan – two in road construction and one each in sewerage treatment and information technology.

 

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