New Delhi: The first India-Central Asia Dialogue will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on January 12 and 13, and will be co-chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov.
The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan will participate in the dialogue as a special invitee for the session dedicated to connectivity issues in the region, while the Foreign Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan will represent their respective countries at the event.
“Bound together through shared history and cultural linkages,India and the Central Asian states look forward to the Dialogue as an important initiative to enhance their cooperation in wide-ranging spheres including exploring ways to substantially enhance India’s economic involvement in business and development sector of Central Asia,” a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.
The participants of the conference will also deliberate on developing viable connectivity options between India and Afghanistan and Central Asia to further facilitate trade and economic activity in the region.
The event is expected to strengthen India’s engagement with all the Central Asian nations, taking it to a “new level”, according to the MEA.
This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to all the five Central Asian nations – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – in 2015 and the EAM’s tour across the region in August 2018.