President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon was on a five-day visit to India from December 14-18, 2016 to hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr Rahmon landed in Cochin, Kerala on December 14. He arrived New Delhi on December 16, 2016.
- This was the sixth visit of President Rahmon to India. During his last visit to India in 2012, the two countries elevated their bilateral relations to the level of a long-term strategic partnership. Bilateral relations include cooperation in areas like political, economic, health, human resources development, defence, science and technology, culture and tourism among others.
- Tajikistan President was accorded ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan on December 16. The official talks began on 17 December 2016 in New Delhi.
- The visiting dignitary met with the Indian leadership including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. President Mukherjee hosted a banquet on December 17 for the visiting President.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Rahmon witnessed delegation level talks to discuss bilateral relations and issues of mutual interests. After the talks, India and Tajikistan signed four agreements in various fields.
4 agreements signed between India and Tajikistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon witnessed the exchange of 4 MoUs in New Delhi on December 17, following delegation level talks.
- The MoU was exchanged between MoS for External Affairs M J Akbar and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Aslov.
- A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on cooperation in the exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and financing of terrorism.
- The two sides signed a protocol amending avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion.
- Another MoU was signed regarding cooperation on broadcasting in exchange of audio-visual programmes.The two sides also signed a document on bilateral investment treaty.
Agreement for Cooperation in Broadcasting
Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati and Tajikistan’s Committee on TV and Radio has entered into an agreement for cooperation in the field of broadcasting.
- As per the agreement, the two sides can exchange programmes in the fields of cultural, archaeology, history, food, festivals, education, science, entertainment, sports, news as areas of mutual interest.
- The Memorandum of Understanding also envisages that the two sides will explore co-production opportunities related to matters of mutual interest.
- The agreement also includes that the two parties may mutually exchange personnel and provide training to staff.
Agreement for Anti-Terror and Defence Cooperation.
Since India and Tajikistan face multiple security challenges in their extended neighbourhood, both the countries decided to strengthen defence cooperation for addressing the issue of terrorism and radicalism.
- During the bilateral talks between India and Tajikistan, on strategic issues including threats posed by radicalisation and extremism, trade and investments, the two countries inked a pact to share financial intelligence to counter money laundering and financing of terrorism.
- The two leaders discussed situation in the region and stressed that terrorism and extremism seriously threaten peace, stability and progress of all countries.
- Both the leaders agreed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations must be eliminated without any distinction between good and bad terrorists and called for an end to sponsorship, support and provision of safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists.
- Modi and Rahmon confirmed their resolution to work for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism by the UN General Assembly.
About Bilateral Cooperations between India and Tajikistan
The two countries have robust cooperation in the areas of defence, counter-terrorism, science and technology, culture and tourism. They also have strong political cooperation and economic cooperation.
- Their relations got a further boost with the visit of the Prime Minister to Tajikistan in July 2015 during his Central Asian tour. During the visit, the Prime Minister held wide ranging talks with President Rahmon to step up cooperation in the spheres of defence, connectivity and counter-terrorism.
- India and Tajikistan actively cooperate with each other under Multilateral Fora, including SCO and the UN organisations. Tajikistan is supportive of India’s permanent membership to UNSC. India extended support to Tajikistan’s accession to the WTO.
- However, bilateral trade with Tajikistan is much below the potential, mainly due to the problem of connectivity.
- The major items exported from India to Tajikistan are pharmaceuticals, tea, coffee, chemicals, textiles & clothing and machinery and the major imports from Tajikistan are aluminum, cotton, dry fruits, vegetables, organic chemicals and essential oils.
- Capital: Dushanbe
- Currency: Tajikistani somoni
- President: Emomali Rahmon