Third meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue in Delhi from 18-20 Dec

New Delhi: The third meeting of the two-day India-Central Asia Dialogue will take place today in New Delhi between the foreign ministers of India and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It is worth noting that the five Central Asian foreign ministers are visiting New Delhi at the invitation of Dr S Jaishankar, their Indian counterpart, despite the global uncertainty caused by Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus.

This demonstrates the importance that these countries place on their relations with India. The fact that the five Central Asian foreign ministers' visit coincides with the visit of these countries' National Security Advisers/Secretaries, National Security Councils to Delhi for the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue demonstrates the vitality of the India-Central Asia partnership.

It is worth noting that India's ties with Central Asia have taken a decisive upward turn since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014. In July 2015, a little more than a year after taking office as India's Prime Minister, he became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit all five Central Asian states. Prior to his visit, India had only made four Prime Ministerial visits to the region in the previous 20 years! Central Asia is part of India's extended neighbourhood, with which it has historical, cultural, and civilizational ties dating back millennia.

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