The two sides discussed greater economic cooperation during talks in New Delhi on Wednesday

India and Uzbekistan have agreed to exploit the full potential of Chabahar port for trade between the two countries, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.

The matter was discussed when the two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including Afghanistan, at the 15th India-Uzbekistan Foreign Office Consultations (FoC) held in New Delhi.

India is developing the Shahid Behesti Terminal of Chabahar Port in Iran, which has provided much needed sea-access to the landlocked Afghanistan.

A Trilateral Agreement to establish the International Transport and Transit Corridor (Chabahar Agreement) was signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Iran in May 2016.

According to the MEA, during Wednesday's talks, both sides undertook a comprehensive review of the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation including political, security, trade-economic, connectivity, development partnership, humanitarian and cultural spheres.

"The talks particularly focused on greater economic cooperation and steps to enhance connectivity between India and Uzbekistan," the MEA pointed out.

They agreed to further enhance cooperation in the UN, SCO and other multilateral fora. Indian side conveyed its full support for Uzbekistan’s ongoing chairmanship of SCO. Both sides highly assessed the holding of the 1st India-Central Asia Summit in January 2022 and agreed to expeditiously implement its outcomes along-with other Central Asian countries, the MEA noted.

The talks were held in the traditional spirit of friendship and understanding. The FoC was useful in taking stock of the implementation of decisions taken during high-level meetings held in the last 2 years, including the Virtual Summit in December 2020.

Wednesday's consultations were co-chaired by Secretary (West) Sanjay Verma and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Furkat Sidikov.

The last round of FoC was held in virtual format in November 2020.

Both sides agreed to hold the next round of consultations on a mutually convenient date in Uzbekistan, the MEA said.