India, Afghanistan, Central Asian nations to fight terrorism jointly
SAMARKAND (Uzbekistan), Jan 13 (PTI)
INDIA and five Central Asian countries along with Afghanistan on Sunday condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and agreed to cooperate in countering the menace which poses a threat to people across the world.
This was part of a joint statement issued at the end of the first ever meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue which also saw the participation of Afghanistan at the ministerial level in Samarkand. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj along with the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting.
“All sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and agreed to cooperate in countering terrorism which posed a threat to the people and economies of the world,” the statement said.
It referred to the ancient civilisational, cultural, trade, and people-to-people links between India and Central Asia and expressed commitment to dynamic and fruitful friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between India and the Central Asian countries at bilateral and multilateral formats.
“The countries reaffirmed their
willingness for cooperation, mutual support, joint solution on relevant issues in order to ensure security, stability and sustainable development,” the statement said.
The Ministers welcomed the participation of Afghanistan in the India-Central Asia Dialogue as an important land link in the regional cooperation, transit of goods and energy and expressed support and commitment of Central Asian countries and India to peace, security and stability of Afghanistan.
They also called for an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghanowned peace process and reconciliation, and assistance in economic reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of joint infrastructure, transit and transport, energy projects including regional cooperation and investment projects, the statement said.
The Ministers noted the importance of sustainable economic growth in Afghanistan by attracting Afghan women to participate in the public life of the country and welcomed the successful holding of forums and conferences on this issue in the countries of Central Asia.
They also noted the results of the seventh Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII), held in Ashgabat in November 2017, and expressed willingness to cooperate in preparation for the RECCA VIII meet in Tashkent in the second half of 2019.
The participants welcomed the accession of India into the Ashgabat agreement on creating an international transport and transit corridor.
The Ministers emphasised the importance of developing and implementing projects, that provide a concerted solution to the problems and issues of economic growth of the countries of Central Asia based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and respect for their interests.
The statement said the nations expressed their intention to strengthen cooperation in order to create real opportunities for expanding economic cooperation, and ensuring favourable conditions for mutual free trade.
INDIA COMMITTED TO ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION OF AFGHANISTAN: SWARAJ: India on Sunday said it was committed to the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and to promote an inclusive “Afghanled, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace and reconciliation process in the war-torn country.
“I would like to specifically point out that our region is facing serious challenges posed by terrorism. India, Central Asia and Afghanistan are societies which are tolerant and plural. The ideology of hate which the terrorists would like to spread has no place in our societies,” Swaraj said while addressing the first session of the dialogue.
“We also need to ask that who these terrorists are, who funds them, how do they find sustenance, who protects and sponsors them,” she said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj along with the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan take part in India-Central Asia Dialogue on Sunday in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.