ANI Photo | Amid Houthi strikes on Red Sea, Armenia offers alternative sea trade route to India

Armenia is ideally positioned to offer India an alternative sea trade route, especially with Europe, Narek Mkrtchyan, the country’s minister for Labor and Social Affairs, said on the sidelines of the ninth edition of the Raisina Dialogue in the national capital on Wednesday.
“The Armenian government is committed to forming partnerships in major regional and global projects like the North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the Gulf Black Sea transport, and the transit corridor and the Chabahar port development, which is a collaborative effort between India and Iran,” the minister told ANI on the sidelines of the event.
The Raisina Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics, committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community.
Further expanding on the country’s offer of an alternative route for commerce, the Armenian minister said it was ‘significant’ at a time when many nations, including India, are looking for alternative sea routes to trade with Europe and the West, given the spate of attacks on commercial vessels passing through the Red Sea.
The Houthi attacks on commercial vessels on Red Sea trade routes started in mid-November, with the group linking the disruptions to its demand for an end to Israel’s offensive in Gaza and the delivery of aid to Palestinians ‘under siege’.
“Armenia holds a strategic position to propose to India an alternative sea trade route, particularly with Europe,” Mkrtchyan said.
He also stressed Armenia’s commitment to partnerships in significant regional and global projects, including the North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), the Gulf Black Sea transport, the transit corridor, and the collaborative development of the Chabahar port with India and Iran.
This proposal is significant amid the growing interest in alternative sea routes due to security concerns in traditional routes like those on the Red Sea.
The minister also pitched a collaboration with India on Artificial Intelligence (AI) through a global coalition where ministers of the two countries can consult and trigger investments for AI.
“There is a potential to collaborate on AI for social good to address sectors like healthcare, agriculture, and environmental conservation planning. We could also potentially establish a global AI innovation platform to facilitate the sharing of Solutions and Research,” he added.
Bilateral dialogue between India and Armenia is conducted through the mechanisms of Foreign Office Consultations and Inter-Governmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific and technological, Cultural and Educational Cooperation, and periodic high-level interactions, the Ministry of External Affairs stated in an official release earlier.
The ninth edition of Raisina Dialogue began on Wednesday and is scheduled to conclude on February 23. The event is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a think tank.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the chief guest and keynote speaker at the 9th Raisina Dialogue.
Ministers, National Security Advisors, senior officials and representatives of industry, technology, finance and other sectors from more than 100 nations are participating in the event this year.

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