India-Central Asia Dialogue
- 14 Jan 2019
- 2 min read
India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj has participated in first India-Central Asia Dialogue in Samarkand, Republic of Uzbekistan.
- Apart from five central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan, Afghanistan also participated in the conference.
- Dialogue focussed on a number of issues including ways to improve connectivity and stabilize war-ravaged Afghanistan.
- India will host the next India-Central Asia Dialogue in 2020.
- India has proposed setting up of ‘India-Central Asia Development Group’ to take forward development partnership between India & Central Asian countries.
- The group may enable New Delhi to expand its footprints in the resource-rich region amid China’s massive inroads and to fight terror effectively, including in Afghanistan.
- India has proposed a dialogue on air corridors with the countries of landlocked Central Asia in an attempt to boost trade, which is currently below $2 billion.
- India also called on the Central Asia Republics to participate in the Chabahar Port project .
- India joined the Ashgabat Agreement in 2018.
- The aim of agreement is to establish an international multimodal transport and transit corridor between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
- The Agreement was first signed by Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman, and Qatar on 25 April 2011.
- Qatar subsequently withdrew from the agreement in 2013, Kazakhstan and Pakistan joined the grouping in 2016.
- The Ashgabat Agreement came into force in April 2016.
- Its objective is to enhance connectivity within the Eurasian region and synchronize it with other regional transport corridors, including the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).