With the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban high on its agenda, New Delhi has invited the foreign ministers of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Krygyz Republic, and Tajikistan for the India-Central Asia dialogue here on 19 December, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced today.
The dialogue, to be chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, will also discuss further strengthening of trade, connectivity, and development cooperation between the two sides besides exchanging views on regional and global issues of mutual interests.
The foreign ministers are also scheduled to jointly call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The announcement comes amid fresh attempts by India to step up cooperation with Iran for trade through the Chabahar Port with Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan.
There are reports that India has invited the leaders of the five Central Asian countries as chief guests for the Republic Day parade next year. New Delhi is awaiting formal approval of the invite by the five countries.