India proposes Group of Development with Central Asian countries, to improve its relation with the resource rich region

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New Delhi | Updated: January 14, 2019 11:06:51 PM

Making the proposal at the 1st meeting of the India-Central Asia-Afghanistan Dialogue held in Tashkent from Jan 12-13, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj offered some initiatives aimed at expanding friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the region.

India, Central Asian countries, Afghanistan, India Central Asia Group of Development, Sushma Swaraj, Kazakhstan, iranAs has been reported earlier by the Financial Express Online, experts have pointed out that in the constantly changing geopolitical competition in the global and regional levels, both India and Central Asian countries need each other.

India has suggested establishing an India-Central Asia Group of Development to promote partnership with the region and has offered to host the next India-Central Asia Dialogue with the participation of Afghanistan at the Foreign Ministers’ level in India in 2020.

New Delhi also, through meet, reiterated its support and commitment to peace, security and stability of Afghanistan; to promote inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan – controlled peace and reconciliation process and to assist in economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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Making the proposal at the 1st meeting of the India-Central Asia-Afghanistan Dialogue held in Tashkent from Jan 12-13, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj offered some initiatives aimed at expanding friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the region.

Besides offering to establish India-Central Asia Business Council which will engage the chambers of commerce of participating states, Swaraj said that all the countries of the CIS region will be represented in G2G formant.

As has been reported earlier by the Financial Express Online, experts have pointed out that in the constantly changing geopolitical competition in the global and regional levels, both India and Central Asian countries need each other.

In her words, India made some propositions in the field of cultural-educational cooperation. She added that the foreign ministers of the region reviewed the overall gamut of India’s relations with the Central Asian region and had extensive discussions on ways to intensify our engagement.

The participation of the Afghan side in the ministerial meeting was also pointed out. “Through this dialogue, New Delhi has highlighted again its partnership and obligations to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan.”

“Dear Friends! As I have already said, neither business nor investments will develop in the country suffering from terrorism. We will fight terrorism together in order to promote business and economic development in the region,” added Sushma Swaraj

During the two day foreign ministers meeting of the India -Central Asia Dialogue from January 12-13 included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Afghanistan participated in the plenary session.

In an earlier interaction, Dr Rajan Kumar, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies, JNU had pointed out that these countries are important to India, in view of the growing Chinese interest in the region.

He pointed out that Uzbekistan is not only a key player in the region it is also militarily strong. These countries along with India can play a major role in the development of Afghanistan. While Uzbekistan has large reserves of gas, uranium and gold and is a potential leader in Central Asia, embassy of Kazakhstan last year together with Indian partners held in New Delhi the first was the round table on “The North-South Transport corridor Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran-India: the current situation and prospects.”

“The issue of the establishment of economically advantageous transport routes and wider use of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran and then by sea to India was discussed. And according to estimates, the use of the route will allow to increase bilateral trade by almost three times,” the ambassador of Kazakhstan to India Bulat Sarsenbayev had said.

India has also offered Development partnership to Central Asian countries, with the plans of having concrete projects in the region, inter alia, under our Lines of Credit and Buyers’ Credit, and by sharing expertise.

Through the joint efforts of India, Iran and Afghanistan there has been a development of the Chabahar Port in Iran as a viable route to connect to Afghanistan and potentially to Central Asia.

The Central Asian countries will be participating in the forthcoming Chabahar Day International Conference in Chabahar on 26 February, 2019. India has also put forward several proposals towards enhancing cultural cooperation and training programmes for capacity building for candidates from Central Asia.

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