India will host the foreign ministers of Central Asia on December 18-19

The strong relationship between India and the former Soviet Union has aided India's increasing links with the Central Asian region.

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India will host the foreign ministers of Central Asia on December 18-19

As per persons acquainted with the situation, India plans to invite five Central Asian foreign ministers here on December 18-19 for the third edition of this format of talks. This follows a National Security Advisor-level dialogue with five states, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India, which underlined New Delhi’s stakes in Eurasia.

This edition of the debate is significant in light of the developments in Afghanistan, with both India and Central Asian countries concerned about dangers from cross-border terrorism and radicalization.

Also Read: Poverty in Afghanistan can have a catastrophic impact on regional instability: Jaishankar

The situation in Afghanistan and cross-border threats emanating from there, as well as the growing humanitarian crisis, are expected to be on the agenda of the conference of foreign ministers.

Last month, at the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, NSAs from India, Russia, Iran, and Central Asia called for the establishment of an inclusive government in Kabul.

According to one of the individuals cited previously, development and economic engagement with the Central Asian Region will also be on the table.

Engagement with Central Asia, which is part of India’s extended neighborhood, is vital not only for combating terrorism and extremism but also for emphasizing India’s Eurasian stakes.

The close relationship between India and the former Soviet Union has aided India’s increasing links with the Central Asian region. The participation of India in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is also helping the region’s expanding relations with Central Asia.

While the first edition of the debate took place in Samarkhand in 2019, the second took place almost exactly a year ago under India’s chairmanship. India has offered a $1 billion line of credit for essential development projects in Central Asia, including connectivity, energy, information technology, healthcare, education, and agriculture.

India has also offered to grant the implementation of high-impact community development projects (HICDP).

At the 2020 meeting, ministers forcefully condemned all forms of terrorism and underlined the need to eliminate terrorist safe havens, networks, infrastructure, and funding conduits. They also underlined the need of each country to ensure that its soil is not utilized to conduct terrorist strikes on other countries.

The ministers emphasized the necessity of a concerted effort to promote trade and economic relations, particularly the promotion of direct linkages between Indian and Central Asian firms.

The ministers emphasized that the ICABC, as a B2B body under the India-Central Asia Dialogue, should promote business linkages, facilitate greater understanding of taxation and business regulations in India and Central Asian countries, and incentivize trade, business, and investment, particularly in the area of small and medium enterprises.

They also emphasized the importance of connectivity in terms of growing trade and commerce, as well as people-to-people relations between India and Central Asian countries via INSTC and Chabahar Port.

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India will host the foreign ministers of Central Asia on December 18-19
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The strong relationship between India and the former Soviet Union has aided India's increasing links with the Central Asian region.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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