Central Asia India meets to focus on the Afghan issue | Latest news India

Central Asia India meets to focus on the Afghan issue |  Latest news India

The situation in Afghanistan and regional connectivity will be in the spotlight when Foreign Minister S Jaishankar meets with his counterparts from five Central Asian states for the third India-Central Asia Dialogue in New Delhi on December 19. . India is hosting the three-day dialogue for which the foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will be visiting the country. Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin will also pay an official bilateral visit from December 18-20 at the invitation of Jaishankar.

New Delhi is considering having the leaders of Central Asian states as main guests at next year’s Republic Day celebrations.

The India-Central Asia Dialogue will see foreign ministers discuss ways to strengthen relations, with the focus on trade, connectivity and development cooperation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a speech. periodic press conference. “India regards Central Asia as part of its extended neighborhood,” he added.

Bagchi said events in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in August are expected to figure in the discussions. “I believe that, given the interests of the members of this dialogue, regional developments will undoubtedly be an important element of their conversation,” he said.

Regional connectivity is also an important element and the foreign ministers will discuss ways to strengthen trade and transit links between India and Central Asia, he said. They would look at multiple modalities, including Iran’s Chabahar port and other options, he added.

The Indian government has focused on strengthening its ties with the Central Asian states by capitalizing on both sides’ relations with Russia. In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit all five Central Asian states in one trip.

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The reach into Central Asia is seen as a counterpoint to China’s progressive influence. The Taliban’s takeover of Kabul and shared concerns about the spread of terrorism and Afghanistan’s instability have emerged as a shared concern and the national security chiefs of the five central Asian states attended a regional security conference on Afghanistan organized by India last month.

Jaishankar visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan this year, and also held a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart.

The dialogue is “a symbol of the interest of all member countries in greater commitment … in a spirit of friendship, trust and mutual understanding,” Bagchi said. The five Central Asian Foreign Ministers will pay a joint courtesy visit to Modi.

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