Veep orders enhancement of ties with Indian Ocean littoral states

Tehran, May 29, IRNA : First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri on Saturday ordered the administrative agencies to enhance ties with Indian Ocean littoral states.

'The executive agencies should put on their agenda promoting economic cooperation with the Indean Ocean littoral states,' Jahangiri said. 'We should sign cooperation agreements with the countries in the Indian Ocean littoral region,' he added. He said that by linking the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Oman, we can provide Makran region with a golden opportunity for development. Makran region is a semi-desert coastal strip in Pakistan and Iran, along the coast of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Referring to estimates about the rise of the East and decline of the West in the economic aspect, he said that despite opposition of a few regional countries regarding furthering their ties with Tehran and other littoral states of the Indian Ocean, Iran should go on with expanding its relations with countries in this region including India. The vice president pointed to the first Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Free Trade Zone Authorities meeting held recently in the Iranian port city of Chabahar and expressed hope that the Chabahar agreement inked between Tehran, Kabul and New Delhi help expand trade between Iran and regional states. He urged all the governmental apparatus to develop Chabahar infrastructure including the region's railroad.