India and Turkmenistan on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding on the issue of financial intelligence, while the two sides discussed the TAPI pipeline for energy security and shared a broad regional consensus on the Afghanistan issue.
“The MoU signed today between the Financial Intelligence Unit of India and the Financial Monitoring Service of Turkmenistan will strengthen the framework of economic cooperation between the two countries,” President Ram Nath Kovind said in a statement during his visit to Turkmenistan. President Kovind is on a state visit to Turkmenistan for the first time for an Indian President.
Turkmenistan has been established for 30 years and this year also marks three decades of diplomatic relations between India and Turkmenistan.
Stating that connectivity is vital to any trading arrangement, President Kovind said: “Towards this end, we highlighted the importance of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement on the International Transport and Transit Corridor. I pointed out that the Chabahar port built by India in Iran can be used to improve trade between India and Central Asia.”
The President’s statement came after his meeting with the President of Turkmenistan, in which he discussed in detail the prospects for the state and bilateral relations; Exchanged views on various issues of regional and international importance and agreed to intensify efforts to further strengthen the multi-faceted partnership between the two countries, a release from the President’s Secretariat said.
The President also drew attention to another key area of discussion regarding cooperation in energy as he said: “On the TAPI Pipeline, I suggested that issues related to pipeline safety and key business principles be discussed at technical and expert level meetings. can be addressed.”
The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Disaster Management; India expressed its desire to partner with Turkmenistan in its drive towards digitization and the President also suggested that space could be another area of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Commenting on Afghanistan – India and Turkmenistan are both immediate neighbors of Afghanistan – the President said: “We share a broad ‘regional consensus’ on issues relating to Afghanistan, including the formation of a truly representative and inclusive government, terrorism and combating drug trafficking, the central role of the United Nations, providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and protecting the rights of women, children and other national ethnic groups and minorities.”
President Kovind also welcomed Turkmenistan’s readiness to send a youth delegation to India within the framework of the India-Central Asia Cultural Cooperation. “The MoU on Youth Affairs signed today will further intensify exchanges between our youth,” he said.