The USI hosted a bilateral discussion on 22 May 2018 with a high level Uzbekistan delegation led by Mr Akmal Burkhanov, Member of Parliament and Executive Director of Development Strategy Centre. The other members of the Uzbek delegation were Mr B Mustafaev, Head of Centre, Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS), Ms Zilota Karimova, Head of Division of the Center for International Relations Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mr Azamjon Mansurov, Second Secretary Political Division, Embassy of Uzbekistan, New Delhi.
The USI delegation was led by Lt Gen PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI and included Maj Gen BK Sharma, AVSM, SM** (Retd), Deputy Director (Research) and head of USI Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation, Ambassador SR Tayal, IFS (Retd), Ambassador Asoke Mukerji, IFS (Retd), Maj Gen PK Goswami, VSM (Retd), Deputy Director (Adm), Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Distinguished Fellow, USI and Prof Nirmala Joshi.
The discussions were very free, frank and cordial and covered the following topics:-
(a) Overall Strategic Scenario in the Region.
(b) Role of India and Uzbekistan in building regional stability.
(c) The modalities for undertaking joint projects by USI and ISRS.
During the discussions both parties concurred that peace in Afghanistan was crucial for peace and stability of the region and that the peace process should be Afghan led and Afghan sponsored. It was also opined that while the US led military effort could provide a secure and stable environment, it was essential that the Afghan led peace initiatives be provided the requisite impetus to achieve political and social stability. The need for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to step into help the peace process was also discussed. There was a convergence of interests of both India and Uzbekistan in the region that needs to be further strengthened for the benefit of the region. We agreed to look at the bilateral as well as regional issues in future meetings.
As regards the joint project, both parties agreed that we should collaborate for the long term and bring out books, reports, policy recommendations on subjects of mutual interest. We should also participate in Seminars, Conferences and Workshops organised by the two institutions. For the first project, it was decided to bring out a book with articles written by experts from the two countries and the themes / subjects were agreed upon. It was also decided to launch the book at the USI and ISRS.
While both parties agreed to continue and expand our cooperation, it was also decided that we could consider enlarging the bilateral dialogue to a trilateral one and invite a Think Tank or Institution from Afghanistan to join us to discuss regional security, stability, economic and development issues. The modalities for this trilateral meeting will be worked out by mutual consultation.
The meeting ended with exchange of Mementoes and an agreement to hold the next meeting in Uzbekistan at a mutually agreed date.