India, Tajikistan collaborate in defence, investments and trade for deeper relations

By: |
New Delhi | October 8, 2018 5:10 PM

Besides agreeing to further deepen their `Strategic Partnership’, by collaborating in areas of defence, trade, tourism and investments, India has offered a grant of $20 mn to Tajikistan for development projects.

India Tajikistan ties, india Tajikistan collaboration in defence,  Ram Nath Kovind, Emomali Rahmon, Farkhor Air Base, INSTCThe two countries have reinforced their commitment to peace and development in neighbouring Afghanistan through an Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled peace process. (Photo source: Twitter/@MEAIndia)

Besides agreeing to further deepen their `Strategic Partnership’, by collaborating in areas of defence, trade, tourism and investments, India has offered a grant of $20 mn to Tajikistan for development projects.

At the end of discussions between President Ram Nath Kovind with his Tajikistan counterpart President Emomali Rahmon at Palace of President, the two sides inked eight MoUs in various fields including political relations, strategic research, agriculture, renewable energy, traditional medicine, space technology, youth affairs, and disaster management.

In fact Tajikistan was the first country in Central Asia to host Farkhor Air Base, making India to be the 4th country after the US, Russia and Germany to have a military base which is very close to the Afghan border. In 2002, the two sides had signed an agreement to establish India’s presence at the Farkhor Air Base. The two countries have reinforced their commitment to peace and development in neighbouring Afghanistan through an Afghan led, Afghan owned and Afghan controlled peace process.

Connectivity in the region is one of the biggest challenges India faces in expanding ties with Central Asia region. New Delhi has been talking to the countries in the region to improve both land and sea connectivity which will help n improving the trade in the region.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the meeting between the leaders of the two countries, the two sides have agreed to work together with regional partners to establish necessary transport mechanisms based on international norms.

The countries in the region have been pushing for development of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) which will considerably reduce time and cost of transport of merchandise among India, Central Asia, Caucasus and CIS countries further north. According to Ambassador P Stobdan, Senior Fellow, IDSA, India has invested in INSTC and the Chabahar project in Iran which are close to becoming a reality.

While India and Tajikistan are keen to have more regular flights between the two countries, President Rahmon of Tajikistan has thanked India for the Fifth Freedom Rights granted by the Indian authorities to Tajik air operators.

Besides providing English laboratories for the Tajikistan Military, it was also agreed that India will do feasibility study of solar projects in seven villages of that country as requested by the administration.

Both leaders underscored the importance of SCO and reaffirmed commitment to working within the framework of SCO for common economic development and security. Later in the week on Wednesday, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will be travelling to that country for the SCO heads of governments meeting from Oct 11-12.

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