In a joint statement, the six countries reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasising the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and non-interference in its internal affairs, reports Asian Lite News
India and the five Central Asian countries on Sunday discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and decided to continue to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of the country.
At the third India-Central Asia Dialogue held here, the External Affairs Ministers of India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the region.
In a joint statement, the six countries reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasising the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and non-interference in its internal affairs.
The ministers also discussed the current humanitarian situation and decided to continue to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.
They reaffirmed the importance of UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) which unequivocally demands that Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups.
The Ministers also agreed to continue close consultations on the situation in Afghanistan.
“While taking note of the outcome document of the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue of November 10, 2021, Ministers noted that there is a broad ‘regional consensus’ on the issues related to Afghanistan, which includes formation of a truly representative and inclusive government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, central role of the UN, providing immediate humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people and preserving the rights of women, children and other national ethnic groups,” the joint statement said.
The Ministers also emphasised that interaction in the fields of defence and security constitutes an important element of India-Central Asia cooperation. In this regard, they noted the importance of holding regular consultations among the National Security Councils of India and the Central Asian countries in the fight against terrorism and other emerging challenges in the region.
“The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterated that providing safe haven, using terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism, terror financing, arms and drugs trafficking, dissemination of a radical ideology and abuse of cyber space to spread disinformation and incite violence, goes against the basic principles of humanity and international relations,” the statement said.
They stressed that perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors of terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with principle of “extradite or prosecute”. In this context, they called for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
“They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation and fully implement the relevant UNSC resolutions, Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and FATF standards,” it said.
India and Tajikistan ink three-year plan to bolster partnership
Meanwhile, India and Tajikistan signed a ‘Programme of Cooperation’ for 2021-2024, expanding further the trade and economic ties, investment, scientific and technical collaboration, cooperation in industry, energy, culture and education spheres.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Tajikistan Foreign Affairs Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin exchanged views on expanding bilateral cooperation in energy, connectivity, trade, security and capacity building.
They also discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and decided to work together in regional and international organisations.
New Delhi thanked Dushanbe for the support it extended during the evacuation of Indians, as well as some members of the Afghan minority community, in August and September after the return of Taliban in the country.
“Of course as neighbours of Afghanistan, we have been very concerned at the developments there. And the participation of the Secretary of your Security Council in the Regional Security Dialogue, which we hosted in November, is something which is deeply appreciated,” said Jaishankar in his opening remarks at the meeting.
The minister said that 2022 will be a very special year for the relationship between the two countries as it will be the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic ties and also India will be celebrating 75 years of its independence.
“During the meeting, the Foreign Ministers discussed the issues of development of bilateral relations and stressed the need to implement the agreements reached by the leaders of the two countries on strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation between Tajikistan and India in various fields,” said the Tajik Foreign Ministry.
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