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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Iran Wishes to Become part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

(Photo : getty images.) Iran on Thursday expressed desire to become part of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), according to statement issued by Pakistan prime minister's office.

Iran articulated on Thursday its desire to become part of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects China's northwestern region of Xinjiang to Gwadar port located in Pakistan's insurgency porn province of Balochistan.  

The message was conveyed during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which happened on the sidelines of  the 71st UN General Assembly session, Times of India reported.

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In a statement, Sharif said that "President Rouhani lauded the vision of the Prime Minister for translating CPEC into reality and expressed his desire to be part of the CPEC."

"In particular, the two leaders reiterated the complementarity between Gwadar and Chabahar sea ports that could boost regional trade exponentially in the decades ahead," the Pakistani leader added.

Reports have indicated that the CPEC project has been surrounded with controversies allegedly because of security concerns expressed by India. New Delhi claimed that its security concerns are justified, as the corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK).

India had officially lodged protest with China and Pakistan on several occasions, calling on both countries to immediately stop work on the project. However, Beijing and Islamabad chose to overlook India's concerns. Earlier this year, Chinese state media had warned that India may try to sabotage the CPEC project.  

Indian seals historic Chabahar port deal with Iran

Concerned by security challenges borne out of CPEC project, New Delhi was going full throttle to seal the Chabahar port deal with Iran. India eventually succeeded in sealing the project during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit to Iran in May.    

The deal was considered immensely important for India to break away from China's encirclement or the much talked about "string of pearls" strategy. Indian foreign experts alleged that China is trying to encircle India by pursuing several infrastructure projects in Indian neighbourhood, and that the Chabahar port deal was very much in China's wish list.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is worth $46 billion.

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