15:50 GMT12 August 2020
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    A communiqué issued by Turkmenistan early this month announced that all the four founding members had consented to the inclusion of India in the Ashgabat Agreement, which seeks to establish transit links connecting central Asia with the Persian Gulf.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The admission of Indian to the Ashgabat Agreement has paved the way for India's participation in the negotiations for the establishment of an international transport and transit corridor between the governments of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Sultanate of Oman, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The agreement was originally signed in 2011.

    However, it is the implementation of the agreement that is going to be the biggest challenge, according to former Indian diplomat P. Stobdan.

    "It is a multimodal transport system and will help India extend its connectivity to the central Asian region. Now India needs to be serious about all these opportunities as implementation would be very challenging. India will have to alleviate itself to International standards of transport applications," Stobdan told Sputnik.

    The agreement will facilitate India's ability to transport goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf and also help India strengthen its trade and commercial ties with the countries of both regions.

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    The former diplomat is also of the view that the development will lend a big impetus to India's efforts to join the TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers).

    "This is good and this was expected. This will help a lot of projects which India has launched like the Chahbar Port. It will help India's application for admission into the TIR. It was agreed upon during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Turkmenistan couple of years ago," former Indian ambassador P. Stobdan told Sputnik.

    TIR is the international convention on International Transport of Goods and is a multilateral treaty that was concluded at Geneva on 14 November, 1975 to simplify and harmonize the administrative formalities of international road transport.

    Uzbekistan and Pakistan have also applied for the TIR and may join soon, he added.

    The views and opinions expressed by P Stobdan are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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