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Central Asia Dialogue focused on Afghanistan to be hosted by India

Central Asia Dialogue focused on Afghanistan to be hosted by India

India will host the third India-Central Asia Dialogue in New Delhi from today onwards, featuring five countries in the region for talks that will have special focus on the troubled nation of Afghanistan, the Minister of External Affairs (MEA) announced. The dialogue will also focus on trade and strengthening diplomatic relations according to the MEA.

Ministers from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will be present at the three-day meet which is being hosted by Indian Minister for External Affairs S.Jaishankar. Jaishankar already visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan this year and met Turkmenistan's foreign minister in October.

"The foreign ministers of the Central Asian countries are expected to pay a joint courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

"The holding of annual meetings of the India-Central Asia Dialogue is symbolic of the interest on the part of all member countries for greater engagement between them in a spirit of friendship, trust and mutual understanding," Bhagchi said.

Members of the dialogue are expected to focus on Afghanistan under Taliban rule and the challenges it poses in terms of human rights and terrorism, with India using the opportunity to strengthen its ties with allies in the region. In October, a high-level meeting on the same subject between National Security Advisors from Central Asian countries was held in New Delhi, with the meeting chaired by Indian NSA Ajit Doval.

The Modi government has reached out to these five countries for the participation of their top leaders as chief guests for the upcoming Republic Day celebrations next year.

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TAGS:MEAIndiaS JaishankarAfganistanSecurity meet
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