External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday left on a 4-day visit to Central Asia to further boost India’s political and economic ties with the resource-rich region.
“Advancing our growing engagement with an extended neighborhood! EAM @SushmaSwaraj embarks on a visit to 3 Central Asian countries — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz and Uzbekistan — from 2-5 August. This will be her first visit to these countries as EAM,’’ External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
The MEA said Swaraj would be in Kazakhstan on 2-3 August, in Kyrgyz on 3-4 August and in Uzbekistan on 4-5 August.
In Astana, Kazakhstan, she will hold a bilateral meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, call on the leadership of the country and interact with the Indian community there.
India and Kazakhstan have strategic partnership and multi-faceted relations that have been strengthened by the visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan in 2015 and 2017.
Advancing our growing engagement with an extended neighborhood! EAM @SushmaSwaraj embarks on a visit to 3 Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz & Uzbekistan – from 2-5 August. This will be her first visit to these countries as EAM. Press Release at https://t.co/K6G2CKQrbB pic.twitter.com/gwu41iXZLZ
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) August 2, 2018
There have been also meetings at the highest-level between the two countries on the margins of SCO Summits keeping momentum in the growth of bilateral relations.
In Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Swaraj will meet Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev, call on the country’s leadership and interact with the Indian community.
India and Kazakhstan also enjoy a strategic partnership. Relations between the two countries have been strengthened by the visits of PM Modi to Kazakhstan in 2015 and 2017.
On the third and last leg of her visit, Swaraj will arrive in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 4 August and hold in-depth discussions with Uzbek Foreign Minister Aziz Kamilov.
She will also call on the country’s leadership, interact with Indologists and the Indian community there.
Swaraj’s visit to Uzbekistan comes in the wake of Modi’s visits in July 2015 and June 2016, which saw intense interactions between the two sides.
The visit to the three Central Asian countries was in line with India’s enhanced engagement with this region which is India’s extended neighbourhood, the MEA said.
“It will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions with the political leadership on a wide range of global, regional and bilateral issues and advance our growing engagement with the Central Asian region,” it added.