In news– Recently, the Indian Prime Minister held a virtual summit with five Central Asian countries.
About the summit-
- This was the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders.
- The virtual summit saw the participation of the five presidents — Kazakhstan’s Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Sadyr Japarov of Kyrgyz Republic.
- PM underlined the three main objectives of the summit:
- To make it clear that cooperation between India and Central Asia is essential for regional security and prosperity.
- To give an effective structure to our cooperation, which will establish a framework of regular interactions at different levels and among various stakeholders.
- To create an ambitious roadmap for our cooperation.
- During the summit, the PM called for an integrated approach for regional connectivity and cooperation for the next 30 years.
- India and five Central Asian countries have decided to establish a joint working group on Afghanistan at the senior officials’ level.
- It was decided that leaders of India and Central Asian countries would hold a summit-level meeting every two years and the next summit is expected in 2024.
- The leaders agreed that joint counter-terrorism exercises will be held between India and interesting Central Asian countries.
- India, Central Asia to commission a dictionary of common words used in India and Central Asia countries and showcase a Buddhist exhibition in Central Asia.
- The PM also announced a plan to build a “Central Asia Centre” in New Delhi.
- The inception of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at Foreign Ministers’ level, the third meeting of which was held in New Delhi from December 18-20, 2021, has provided an impetus to India-Central Asia relations.
- China held a similar summit with the leaders of Central Asian countries on January 25, at a very short notice, after India had announced its summit.