India and Uzbekistan inked 17 agreements on Monday including in military education and visa-free travel for diplomatic passport holders.
Following delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, the two nations agreed to collaborate with each other across sectors with special focus on pharma.
PM Modi also announced India’s decision to extend a Line of Credit (LoC) of $200 million for low cost homes and other social infrastructure projects in Uzbekistan.
‘’We have agreed to increase trade and investment relations and set a bilateral trade target of $1 billion by 2020,’’ Modi announced after wide-ranging talks with visiting Uzbek President in New Delhi. He said the two countries also decided to start negotiations on a free trade agreement.
Three of the agreements today, including one on cooperation in the field of tourism, were signed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Uzbekistani counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman signed the memorandum between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of military education with Uzbekistan Minister of Defence Abdusalom Azizov.
An agreement on cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Confederation of Indian Industry on establishment of the India-Uzbekistan business council was also signed.
The two countries have also agreed to cooperate in combating trafficking and illicit narcotic drugs and cooperate in exploring the outer space for peaceful purposes.
In the joint press statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said meaningful discussions were held between the PM and the Uzbek President that will help deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“This is our fourth meeting and I feel you (Uzbek President) are a special friend,” PM Modi said, adding that the two leaders took a long-term view on the regional issues of security, peace and prosperity and cooperation.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also expressed his deep respect for the people of India. He said India is a country with an ancient history, religious culture and political, economic and intellectual potential.
Mirziyoyev, who is here on a two-day visit, was earlier today accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was welcomed by President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Indian side thanked Uzbekistan for its support for India’s membership of the Ashgabat Agreement, and expressed hope that Uzbekistan would also join the International North South Transport Corridor.
On Afghanistan, the two leaders discussed the situation in the war-torn country and noted that the establishment of peace and stability there was of great significance to the security and stability of the entire region.
They reiterated support for efforts of the government and the people for a genuine Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan controlled peace and reconciliation process that would allow for a peaceful, secure, united, inclusive and prosperous nation.
The two sides shared the view that countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations without distinction was important for sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan. They expressed continued support for reconstruction and revival of the country.
Uzbekistan reaffirmed its support to India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
Other agreements that were signed today include:
1 Agreement between the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Republic of India on cooperation in the field of health and medical science,
2 Memorandum of Understanding between the Khokimiat of Samarkand City, Samarkand region, the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Municipal Corporation of Agra, Uttar Pradesh Republic of India,
3 Memorandum of understanding between the Department of pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and fertilizers, Government of the Republic of India and Agency for Development of pharmaceutical industry under the Ministry of health of the Republic of Uzbekistan,
4 Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the Republic of India on cooperation in scientific-technical and innovation fields,
5 Memorandum of Understanding between the Khokimiyat of Andijan Region (Republic of Uzbekistan) and the Government of State of Gujarat (Republic of India) on establishment of mutual cooperation and partnership.