Jaishankar calls on Tajikistan President; discusses expanding bilateral cooperation

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Dushanbe, Mar 30 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday called on Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon here and discussed expanding bilateral economic and development cooperation.

Jaishankar, who is in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe to attend the 9th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference, also conveyed the greetings of President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to President Rahmon.

'Thank President @EmomaliRahmon of Tajikistan for receiving me. Conveyed the greetings of President Kovind & PM Modi. Discussed expanding our bilateral economic and development cooperation. Appreciated his assessment of the Afghan situation,' Jaishankar tweeted.

Talking to reporters, Jaishankar said he discussed with President Rahmon bilateral cooperation and also the situation in Afghanistan.

'We discussed how to expand our economic, trade and investment cooperation. How to expand more in terms of capacity building, how to strengthen our political cooperation and how to work more closely on Afghanistan,' he said.

He also expressed India’s strong solidarity with Tajikistan in the fight against Covid-19.

Later, Jaishankar met Tajikistan's Defence Minister Colonel General Sherali Mirzo and discussed ways to further strengthen defence and security cooperation.

'Productive discussions with Defence Minister Colonel General Sherali Mirzo of Tajikistan. Focused on further strengthening our defence & security cooperation,' he tweeted.

Tajikistan shares a 1,400-km-long porus border with Afghanistan and has immense geo-strategic significance for India which has been providing military assistance to it as part of counter-terrorism cooperation. India has also developed the Ayni airbase near the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

On the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference here, Jaishankar also met his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tileuberdi and reviewed bilateral and international cooperation.

'A good meeting with DPM & FM Mukhtar Tileuberdi of Kazakhstan. Useful review of our bilateral and international cooperation,' he tweeted.

Jaishankar also met Executive Director of the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Kairat Sarybay on the sidelines of the conference.

'Glad to receive @CicaSecretariat Executive Director @KairatSarybay on the sidelines of @HeartofAsia_IP. Reiterated India’s commitment to a pluralistic cooperative security order in Asia. Agreed to work together to further strengthen CICA,' he tweeted.

The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference is part of the Istanbul Process - a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan - that was launched on November 2, 2011 in Turkey. PTI ZH AKJ ZH ZH