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India-Central Asia Summit: Joint Working Group on Afghanistan

India-Central Asia Summit: Joint Working Group on Afghanistan

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NEW DELHI, Jan 27: India and five Central Asian countries on Thursday decided to establish a joint working group on Afghanistan at the senior officials’ level, Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (West) Reenat Sandhu said.

The first India-Central Asia Summit, hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in virtual format was attended by five presidents — Kazakhstan’s Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon, Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Kyrgyz Republic’s Sadyr Japarov.

At the summit, Modi suggested preparing a roadmap for the next 30 years, Sandhu said. She said it was decided that leaders of India and Central Asian countries would hold a summit-level meeting every two years and the next summit was expected in 2024. At the meeting, the leaders agreed to continue close consultations on Afghanistan and decided to establish a joint working group on the country at the senior officials’ level, Ms. Sandhu said.

She said India and Central Asian countries are committed to combatting the menace of terrorism and drug trafficking. Joint counter-terrorism exercises would be held between India and interested Central Asian countries, Sandhu added.

Meanwhile, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said he had tested positive for COVID-19. He urged all those who have come in recent contact with him to take suitable precautions.

Earlier in the day, Jaishankar took part in a virtual event along with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “Have tested Covid positive. Urge all those who have come in recent contact to take suitable precautions,”  Jaishankar tweeted.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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