Cooperation with Central Asia essential for regional security: PM Modi | India News – Times of India

New Delhi: Mutual cooperation between India and Central Asia is essential for regional security and prosperity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday while hosting the first India-Central Asia Summit in virtual format.
He said the region is at the heart of India’s vision of an integrated and stable growing environment. He added that the current situation in Afghanistan makes this cooperation even more important.
“We are all concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and this has made cooperation between India and Central Asia even more important for regional stability and security.”
Prime Minister Modi called for defining an “ambitious vision” for cooperation between India and Central Asia in the coming years, noting that it would enable the adoption of an integrated approach to regional connectivity and cooperation.
The summit was attended by five Central Asian presidents – Qasim-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, Emomali Rahman of Tajikistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan and Sadir Japarv of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The summit was held a day after Republic Day, with no foreign head of state or government as the chief guest. Leaders from five Central Asian countries were expected to be the chief guests, but the country has seen an increase in Kovid-19 cases, which have led to a decline in Republic Day celebrations.
The MEA said it was a reflection of the country’s growing engagement with Central Asian countries, which is part of India’s “growing neighborhood”.
Modi visited all Central Asian countries in 2015. Subsequently, there have been high-level exchanges in bilateral and multilateral forums.
With PTI input

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