New Delhi (Sputnik) — Officials of India, Afghanistan, and Iran met in Kabul on Tuesday to discuss ways to impel the US to provide India with a waiver for trade carried out with Afghanistan through Iran's Chabahar Port. The meeting comes after the US refused to make any commitments for sanctions waiver to India during the much anticipated 2+2 ministerial dialogue in New Delhi. The US instead reiterated its wish to see India "zero out" oil imports from Iran.
While the Indian delegation for the meeting held in Kabul was led by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, Afghanistan was represented by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hekmat Khalil Karzai. The Iranian delegates were led by Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.
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The Indian government had argued in favor of the Chabahar Port project before US officials during the 2+2 meeting in New Delhi last week and said that since the project was primarily aimed at providing humanitarian assistance to the war-affected people of Afghanistan, it should be out of the purview of the US sanctions.
The US mainly fears that the Chabahar Port could facilitate a payment window that would be used by companies to skirt the sanctions that come into effect on November 4.
Meanwhile, India and Iran are also considering roping in India's UCO Bank and Iranian Bank Pasargad to provide a payment mechanism that would help circumvent US sanctions on Iran.