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Afghanistan Likely To Be Focus At Central Asia Dialogue Hosted By India

Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)

Afghanistan Likely To Be Focus At Central Asia Dialogue Hosted By India
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India will host the third edition of its foreign ministerial dialogue with five Central Asian countries on Sunday with a focus on pressing regional issues like connectivity and developments in Afghanistan.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the meeting. The dialogue is taking place in the backdrop of India reaching out to the five countries for participating of their top leaders as chief guests at the upcoming Republic Day celebrations

In the last few years, India has been focusing on enhancing overall cooperation with the energy-rich Central Asian countries, considering them to be part of its extended neighbourhood.

The recent developments in Afghanistan reinforced the importance of the Central Asian countries with three of them — Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — sharing borders with the war-torn nation.

The national security advisors of all the five Central Asian countries attended an India-hosted regional dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10. It was also participated by NSAs of Russia and Iran.

Bagchi said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be hosting the third meeting of the India-Central Asia dialogue in New Delhi from December 18-20.

“As part of the third meeting of the India-Central Asia dialogue on December 19, the ministers are expected to discuss further strengthening of relations between India and Central Asian countries with particular focus on trade, connectivity and development cooperation,” he said.

It is learnt that the situation in Afghanistan will figure prominently at the talks.

Mr Bagchi said the ministers will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

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