Central Asia NSA meet: India's Doval calls for connectivity, counter-terror cooperation
The joint statement of the first India-Central Asia NSA meet asserted that no terrorist organisation including those designated by UNSC resolution 1267 should be allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan.
India's National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday said that connectivity and countering terror financing in cooperation with Central Asian countries remains India's key priority. The statement came at the first India-Central Asia meeting of the National Security Advisers in New Delhi. Doval added that "peaceful, secure and prosperous Central Asia" remains in Central Asia's common interest.
The joint statement of the meet asserted that no terrorist organisation "including those designated by UNSC resolution 1267 should be provided sanctuaries or allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan", meaning that Pakistan-based terrorist groups should not be provided with operational grounds in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Just in: Joint statement after first Indi Central Asia NSAs meet issued.— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) December 6, 2022
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/o6KENqACfP
Describing Central Asia as India’s “extended neighbourhood”, Doval said that New Delhi accords “highest priority” to the region, adding that Afghanistan is an important issue “concerning all of us”. A number of Central Asian countries share land borders with Afghanistan and thus are directly affected by Taliban's control of Kabul since August 15 last year.
India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval inaugurated the first-ever India-Central Asia NSA meeting today. The meet's focus was tensions in Afghanistan and counter-terrorism among other issues.@eriknjoka talks to @sidhant for details— WION (@WIONews) December 6, 2022
Watch more: https://t.co/AXC5qRcEPB pic.twitter.com/VjuaCilPdM
This is the first time India is hosting a conclave of top security officials from Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan focusing on the evolving security situation in Afghanistan and ways to deal with the threat of terrorism.
This first India-Central Asia NSA meet coincides with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Central Asian countries.
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Doval, in a message directed at Pakistan, appealed to all UN members to fulfill obligations enshrined in relevant counter-terror conventions.
In a message to Pakistan at India-Central Asia NSAs meet, NSA Ajit Doval says, "should honour all UN members to fulfil obligations enshrined in relevant counter terror conventions & refrain from providing support to entities involved in terror attacks" pic.twitter.com/DrSZUmSyB9— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) December 6, 2022
In a message to China, Doval said that connectivity projects in the region must be "consultative, transparent and participatory with respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the countries.
Doval also referred to the first India-Central Asia virtual summit in January that was hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Your presence is a testimony to our cohesiveness and it will enrich the discussions. Central Asia is our extended neighbourhood with which we have civilisational linkages and we accord highest priority to this region,” Doval said.
“At the January meeting of our leaders agreed to convene regular meetings of secretaries of security councils to discuss security-related developments in the region. This forms the basis of the meeting,” he said.
Boosting connectivity including the developments related to Chabahar port in Iran, a part of 7200-km long International North-South Transport Corridor spanning Central Asia all the way to Russia, was part of the discussions at the meet.
The NSA-level conclave comes 10 months after the first India-Central Asia virtual summit, and deliberated on ways to boost India’s connectivity with the Central Asian region among other issues.
(With inputs from agencies)
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