India-Central Asia Summit – UPSC GS2

India-Central Asia Summit:
  • The Prime Minister has hosted the India-Central Asia Summit in virtual format.
  • It is the first of its kind engagement between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders.
  • The summit was attended by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Objectives of the Summit:
  • To make it clear that cooperation between India and Central Asia is essential for regional security and prosperity.
  • To give an effective structure to our cooperation and
  • To create an ambitious roadmap for our cooperation.
What are the key highlights of the India-Central Asia Summit? 
  • Delhi Declaration: The leaders issued the Delhi Declaration at the end of the summit.
  • Institutionalise Summit Mechanism: The countries agreed to institutionalise the Summit mechanism by deciding to hold it every 2 years. An India-Central Asia Secretariat in New Delhi would also be set up to support the new mechanism.
  • Annual Meetings: There will be annual meetings of the Foreign, Trade and Cultural Ministers and Secretaries of Security (National Security Advisors).
  • Connectivity, Defence and Cultural Relations: They discussed further cooperation in areas of connectivity, defence and cultural contacts.
  • They agreed on:
    • Round-Table on Energy and Connectivity.
    • Joint Working Groups at senior official level on Afghanistan and use of Chabahar Port.
    • Showcasing of Buddhist exhibitions in Central Asian countries.
    • Joint counter-terrorism exercises and
    • Visit of 100 member youth delegation annually from Central Asian countries to India.
  • Trade: They discussed the possibilities of increasing Indian trade with the Central Asia region beyond the currently low levels of about $2 billion. Turkmenistan President stressed on the importance of the TAPI gas pipeline project that runs from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and Pakistan to India.
  • The situation in Afghanistan: They discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan. The leaders reaffirmed the importance of UNSC Resolution 2593 passed in 2021 which unequivocally demanded that Afghan territory not be used for terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including those sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

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