External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar reached Dushanbe (Capital of Tajikistan) as part of his official visit to Tajikistan from March 30-31, 2021. He is visiting Tajikistan at the invitation of Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan.
- During the visit, EAM held discussions with Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan; Colonel General Sherali Mirzo, Defence Minister of Tajikistan; Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan.
- Dr S Jaishankar attended the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) Ministerial Conference held at Dushanbe, Tajikistan
- EAM attended the inaugural virtual session of the Doha talks.
9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) Ministerial Conference
During the visit, EAM attended the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) Ministerial Conference held at Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
- HoA-IP is part of the Istanbul Process – a regional initiative on ‘security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan’.
- It was established by Afghanistan & Turkey on November 2, 2011 in Turkey.
- Number of Participating Countries in HoA-IP is 15.
i.During the meeting,
- EAM emphasized the need for a stable Afghanistan for progress of the Central Asian Region.
- He stated that Afghanistan witnessed an increase in Violence by 45% in 2020 compared to 2019 levels.
- India’s development partnership of USD 3 Billion includes more than 550 community development projects covering all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It aims to make Afghanistan a self-sustaining nation.
- India has also committed to provide more drinking water to Kabul.
- India is aiming to improve Afghanistan’s connectivity with the outside world.
- It highlighted projects like Chabahar Port in Iran & dedicated Air Freight Corridor between India & Afghanistan as part of its efforts to improve connectivity.
- The main aim of the projects is to increase trade between Afghanistan & other countries, leaving it less dependent on Pakistan.
iii.Tajikistan’s Importance to Afghan Peace Talks
- Tajikistan shares a 1, 400 km long border with Afghanistan and provides military assistance to Afghanistan as part of Counter-Terrorism cooperation.
- India has developed the Ayni airbase near Tajikistan Capital Dushanbe.
Outcomes of India-Tajikistan Meeting
During the visit, EAM Dr S Jaishankar held talks with Tajikistan Counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin in Dushanbe. The talks were held on several aspects of bilateral issues, including development cooperation.
- The two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of interest.
- They agreed to focus on enhancing the economic partnership.
- The two countries agreed to encourage the business community, the trade bodies, and chambers on both sides to engage actively with each other.
- Tajikistan acknowledged that several projects have been commissioned over the years in Tajikistan under the Indian grant assistance.
EAM calls on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
During the visit, EAM called on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
- During the meeting, EAM S Jaishankar shared India’s perspective on the peace process in Afghanistan.
- India has been a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan.
- It has invested USD 2 Billion in aid and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.
- India is supporting a national peace & reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.
EAM’s meeting with Tajikistan Speaker
On March 31, 2021, EAM S. Jaishankar met with Tajikistan Speaker Zokirzoda Mahmadtohir Zoir and appreciated the strong parliamentary support for Indo-Tajik cooperation.
Recent Related News:
i.October 29, 2020, India has extended USD 1 Billion (~ INR 7, 400 Crores) Line of Credit for Development Projects in Central Asian Countries.
ii.On September 24, 2020 EAM S Jaishankar participated in the Special Virtual Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Conference on Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
President – Emomali Rahmon
Capital – Dushanbe
Currency – Tajikistan Somoni (TJS)