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Prime Minister Narender Modi’s Visit to Five Central Asian Republics : Enhance Regional Cooperation and Connectivity

Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu says:Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the five Central Asian States will improve bilateral cooperation and engagement. This visit will help in increasing trade and economic cooperation at the same time increase people to people contact

Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu says: Prime Minister Narender Modi is visiting five Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan from 6th July till 13th July 2015. This high-level visit will provide much needed impetus to the bi-lateral relationships.During this visit PM Modi is likely to focus on the significant bi-lateral issues and concerns. The talks related to the energy cooperation (including gas, oil and Uranium), cooperation in the counter terrorism activities, in improving transport linkages, in defence cooperation (including training and exercises), will be the highlights of the discussion.

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During PM’s visit to Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, PM is expected to discuss on the issues related to Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project. TAPI the $10-billion pipeline project is to transport gas from energy-rich Turkmenistan to India. In May 2012, India became partner of this 1,800-km-long gas pipeline project after being cleared by the cabinet. TAPI pipeline is expected to supply 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per annum from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. This pipeline is likely to start functioning from 2018 onwards. All the four countries of TAPI project are highly committed and by September this year, consortium will be announced in consultation with the four partners. Apart from TAPI project PM is expected to discuss on issues related to the fertilizer deliveries, enhance cooperation in the trade, science and in the cultural spheres. PM Modi is also scheduled to unveil Mahatma Ghandi’s Statue in Ashgabat as a symbol of peace, as Turkmenistan is celebrating the year of Neutrality and Peace this year.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Astana in Kazakhstan will be coinciding with the first drilling for oil in the Satpayev block oil fields, where India has 25 per cent stake. Prime Minister’s visit to the Central Asian State of Tajikistan is expected to enhance cooperation in the field of education, information and technology as well as in the agricultural sector. Prime Minister’s visit to Osh, in Kyrgyzstan will also be extremely significant andhighlight the discussions on the issues related to improving connectivity, trade, economic cooperation, increase information flow,support in the health care, education, in the renewable energy as well as in the food processing sectors. PM started his Central Asia tour with Uzbekistan. His discussion with Uzbek President in Tashkent was extremely fruitful; this visit will indeed boost bilateral ties in the sphere of energy cooperation and in increasing cultural connectivity.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the five Central Asian States will improve bilateral cooperation and engagement. This visit will help in increasing trade and economic cooperation at the same time increase people to people contact.PM’svisit will enable to revive close relationships that India had with the Central Asian States since the silk route days. This visit will enhance cooperation in maintaining peace and stability and in ensuring regional security.

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