India-Central Asia Summit: PM Modi to host first meeting with focus on regional security

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the first meeting of the India-Central Asia Summit in a virtual format on January 27.

The meeting will be attended by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a release.

This will be the first of its kind engagement between India and Central Asian countries at the leaders’ level, who are expected to discuss steps to take the relationship to new heights.

They are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of interest, particularly the emerging regional security situation.

The MEA said that the summit symbolizes the importance attached by the leaders of India and Central Asian countries to a comprehensive and sustainable India-Central Asia partnership.

The MEA said the first India-Central Asia Summit is a reflection of New Delhi’s growing engagement with Central Asian countries, which are part of India’s “extended neighbourhood”.

Prime Minister Modi earlier had a historic visit to all Central Asian countries in 2015 and has since had high level exchanges in bilateral and multilateral fora.

The launch of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministers, whose third meeting was held in New Delhi from December 18-20, 2021, has provided impetus to India-Central Asia relations, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a release.

“The participation of the Secretaries of the National Security Councils of Central Asian countries in the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan held in New Delhi on November 10, 2021, underlined a common regional outlook on Afghanistan,” the MEA said.