Six nations call for ‘immediate’ aid for Afghans
- The third India-Central Asia dialogue, hosted by Indian External Affairs Minister saw participation from the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- The six nations shared common concerns and objectives in Afghanistan.
- The participating ministers noted the broad ‘regional consensus’ on the issues related to Afghanistan like the formation of a representative and inclusive government in Afghanistan, preserving the rights of women, children and other national ethnic groups, combating terrorism and drug trafficking from Afghanistan.
- Notably none of the countries recognise the Taliban. While Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have reopened their missions in Kabul and also exchanged ministerial-level visits with Kabul, like Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan has taken a strong stand against the Taliban.
- The joint statement noted the importance of providing immediate humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people
- The dialogue involved discussions on how to increase links between Central Asian countries and India in terms of connectivity and trade relations.
- Noting Pakistan’s block on land trade from India, the countries proposed making use of the sea route via India-run terminal at the Chabahar port in Iran and the International North South Transit Corridor that goes via the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
- International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), is multi-modal transportation established for the purpose of promoting transportation cooperation among the Member States. This corridor connects India Ocean and the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea via the Islamic Republic of Iran and then is connected to St. Petersburg and North Europe via the Russian Federation.
- The dialogue also decided to explore establishing joint working groups to address issues of free movement of goods and services between India and Central Asian countries"