The first India-Central Asia summit in virtual format, which was hosted by India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on January 27, was attended by Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  The event coincided with the 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Central Asia’s nations. 

The Ministry of External Affairs of India says the summit participants discussed the next steps in taking India-Central Asia relations to new heights.  The parties reportedly agreed to institutionalize the Summit mechanism by deciding to hold it every 2 years. They also agreed on regular meetings of Foreign Ministers, Trade Ministers, Culture Ministers and Secretaries of the Security Council to prepare the groundwork for the Summit meetings.

An India-Central Asia Secretariat in New Delhi would be set up to support the new mechanism, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

The summit participants reportedly discussed far-reaching proposals to further cooperation in areas of trade and connectivity, development cooperation, defense and security and, in particular, on cultural and people-to-people contacts.  These included a roundtable 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 and commissioning of an India-Central Asia dictionary of common words; joint counter-terrorism exercises; visit of 100 member youth delegation annually from Central Asian countries to India; and special courses for Central Asian diplomats.

While discussing the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the leaders reiterated their strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan with a truly representative and inclusive government. 

A Joint Declaration adopted by the leaders enumerates their common vision for an enduring and comprehensive India-Central Asia partnership.