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India, Central Asia to boost connectivity NSA
Image: UNI

India, Central Asia to boost connectivity

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 06 Dec 2022, 04:27 pm

New Delhi: The National Security Advisers of India and Central Asian countries on Tuesday reiterated that greater connectivity could be a force multiplier for enhancing trade and commerce among them and accordingly "deserved priority attention".

The National Security Advisers and Secretaries of Security Councils of India and Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met here to discuss issues of regional security. Turkmenistan was represented by their Ambassador in New Delhi.

"They agreed that connectivity initiatives should be based on the principles of transparency, broad participation, local priorities, financial sustainability and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries," a joint communique issued after the meeting stated.

The NSAs also emphasised the important role that Chabahar Port played during the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and its immense potential in enhancing trade and connectivity, as well as the logistics infrastructure of the Central Asian countries in the delivery of humanitarian goods to the Afghan people.

They also took note of the increase in trade between India and Central Asian countries through the Shaheed Baheshti Terminal, Chabahar Port and discussed further development of this transport corridor.

The participants supported India's proposal to include the Chabahar port within the framework of INSTC.

Welcoming the participants, NSA Ajit Doval said: "Your presence is a testimony to our cohesiveness and it will enrich the discussions. Central Asia is our extended neighbourhood. With which we have civilisation linkages and we accord the highest priority to this region."

Emphasising on connectivity with Central Asian countries, the NSA said that it remains a key priority for India. We stand ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in the region, he said.

"While expanding connectivity, it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory," he added.

Doval said the meeting is taking place at a time of great churn and international relations and uncertainty about the future, therefore, he said, "A peaceful, secure and prosperous Central Asia is in our common interest."

"Today's meeting therefore assumes importance as it provides us an opportunity to discuss matters which require greater cooperation and coordination among the regional countries," he said.

The NSAs also agreed that the expansion of terrorist propaganda, recruitment and fundraising efforts have serious security implications and need a collective and coordinated response.

The meeting of the NSAs flows from the agreement reached during the first India- Central Asia Summit held on January 27 this year, in which it was agreed that the countries will hold regular meetings of Secretaries of the Security Council to discuss issues of regional security.

(With UNI inputs)