The Central Asian republics joined India on Wednesday in demanding destruction of “safe havens” of terrorism. The second meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue jointly expressed support for the peace negotiations in Afghanistan which is expected to usher in a new age for the war-torn country.
“The Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed the determination of their countries to combat this menace by destroying terrorist safe-havens, networks, infrastructure and funding channels. They also underlined the need for every country to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks against other countries,” said a Joint Statement issued after the meeting.
Delivering his opening remarks, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar described the Central Asian region as India’s “extended neighbourhood”. Among the key takeaways from the meeting was the announcement of an additional $1 billion Line of Credit by India for the Central Asian countries. It is expected that the money will be spent for major infrastructural and connectivity projects.
The Joint Statement highlighted the appreciation from the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic for India’s “efforts to modernise the infrastructure of the Chabahar port in Iran, which could become an important link in trade and transport communications between the markets of Central and South Asia”.
The meeting also led to the announcement of grant financing by India for high impact community development projects in the countries. It also led to the establishment of working groups by India Central Asia Business Council comprising the key Chambers of all participating countries.