Samarkand, January 13, 2019, The First India – Central Asia – Afghanistan Ministerial Dialogue was co-organized by the Republic of India and Republic of Uzbekistan on January 12-13, 2019 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan with the participation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of India, Republic of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Ministers discussed and highlighted the importance of cooperation particularly economic cooperation through expanding trade & transit of goods and energy, deepening connectivity, operationalization of regional and international transport & transit corridors and mobilizing and attracting foreign direct investment in support of infrastructure projects as well as expansion of relations in the areas of culture and tourism between the participating countries.
The ministers welcomed the participation of Afghanistan in the first meeting of the “India-Central Asia” Ministerial Dialogue and highlighted the importance of Afghanistan’s centrality as a land bridge for regional economic cooperation & connectivity. They expressed the commitment of Central Asian Countries and India to peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan; to promoting inclusive Afghan – led and Afghan – owned peace process; and to assisting in economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of joint infrastructure, transit and transport, energy and investment projects.
H.E. Foreign Minister Rabbani spoke about Afghanistan’s vision for regional cooperation and the role that Afghanistan is already playing in unlocking the enormous economic opportunities that exist in the region including through providing some of the most cost-effective trade and transit routes between Central Asia and South Asia. Foreign Minister Rabbani thanked the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for its readiness to host the 8th Regional Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VIII) in the second half of the 2019 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Foreign Minister Rabbani held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the plenary, with Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of India and the Kyrgyz Republic.
The second round of India – Central Asia – Afghanistan Ministerial Dialogue will be held in 2020 in New Delhi.