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PM Modi to host first India-Central Asia Summit on Jan 27

PM Modi to host first India-Central Asia Summit on Jan 27.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosting the first India-Central Asia Summit, with the participation of the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in a virtual format on January 27. This will be the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders.

The announcement made today by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also effectively rules out attendance of  Central Asian leaders in the Republic Day celebrations next week, as was being widely anticipated, due to the third COVID-19 wave .

The first India-Central Asia Summit is a reflection of India's growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India's 'Extended Neighbourhood'. Prime Minister Modi paid a historic visit to all Central Asian countries in 2015. Subsequently, there have been exchanges at high-levels at bilateral and multilateral forums.

The MEA said that the inception of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at Foreign Ministers' level, the 3rd meeting of which was held in New Delhi from 18-20 December 2021, has provided an impetus to India-Central Asia relations.

The participation of the Secretaries of National Security Councils of Central Asian countries in the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan held in New Delhi on 10 November 2021 outlined a common regional approach on Afghanistan.

"During the first India-Central Asia Summit, the Leaders are expected to discuss steps to take forward India-Central Asia relations to newer heights. They are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of interest, especially the evolving regional security situation," said the MEA statement on Wednesday.

The Summit reflects the importance attached by the Leaders of India and the Central Asian countries to a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership.