Jaishankar calls on Tajikistan Speaker; discusses parliamentary support for Indo-Tajik cooperation

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Dushanbe, Mar 31 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday met Tajikistan Speaker Zokirzoda Mahmadtohir Zoir and appreciated the strong parliamentary support for Indo-Tajik cooperation.

Jaishankar, who is in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe, attended the 9th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the minister paid his respects at the monument of the founder of the first Tajik state.

“At Dusti Square in Dushanbe. Paying respects at the monument of Ismoili Somoni, founder of the first Tajik state,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.

After visiting the Dusti Square, he called on the Speaker.

“Glad to meet Speaker Zokirzoda Mahmadtohir Zoir of Tajikistan. Appreciated the strong parliamentary support for Indo-Tajik cooperation,” Jaishankar said on Twitter.

On Tuesday, the minister called on Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and discussed expanding bilateral economic and development cooperation.

Jaishankar 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,' he 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,' Jaishankar 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 the key Central Asian country as part of counter-terrorism cooperation.

India has also developed the Ayni airbase near the Tajik capital Dushanbe. PTI CPS AKJ CPS