Jaishankar to host India-Central Asia Dialogue from today, focus likely on Afghanistan

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New Delhi [India]: External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar is set to host the third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue in New Delhi beginning Saturday that is aimed to further strengthen ties between the member countries, with particular focus on trade, connectivity and development cooperation.
This meeting, which will last till December 20, will see participation from Foreign Ministers of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. It assumes importance due to the ongoing humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban’s takeover of the country, Jaishankar has met several of the participating ministers for talks focusing on the issues concerning the troubled country. “External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be hosting the third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue in New Delhi from Dec 18-20. Foreign Ministers of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will participate in the meeting,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said earlier this week.
“The ministers are expected to discuss further strengthening of relations between India and central Asian countries but a particular focus on trade, connectivity and development cooperation. They will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest,” Bagchi added.
As part of the third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue, the foreign ministers of Central Asian countries are expected to pay a joint courtesy visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier, the second meeting was organised by India in October 2020 in digital video conference format.
“There has been ongoing engagement between India and five Central Asian countries over the last few years. India considers Central Asia as part of its extended neighbourhood. EAM visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan this year. He also met the foreign minister of Turkmenistan this year,” MEA spokesperson had said.
“The holding of the India-Central Asia Dialogue is symbolic of the interest on part of all members countries for greater engagements between them in a spirit of friendship, trust and mutual understanding,” he added.


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