India and Central Asia have had longstanding historical, cultural, political, and economic relations that have over time have transformed into a stable, mature, and transformational partnership. Over the years the relations have increased in areas such as trade and connectivity, economic development, development partnership, energy security, regional issues of mutual interests as well as the mutual geopolitical concerns which may or may not affect them. The Covid-19 times has been a test of the friendship between the countries but the help and support during these tough times have not only increased the trust but has made the relationship stronger.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today will host the first India-Central Asia Summit to take the ties to new heights. The summit will be held virtually due to the present situation. The summit will be attended by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The topics like regional security and the situation in Afghanistan will among the main issues of discussion. The other topics like trade and connectivity, development partnership, culture, and people-to-people ties will also be a part of the discussion. According to the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), this will be the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders. The statement published by the MEA stated, “The first India-Central Asia Summit is a reflection of India’s growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India’s “Extended Neighbourhood.”
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a visit to all the five Central Asian countries with a vision to make the relations between the countries stronger than before and establish a better and safe region. The participation of the Secretaries of National Security Councils of Central Asian countries in the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan held in New Delhi on November 10, 2021, outlined a common regional approach towards Afghanistan. With this vision in mind in December 2021, the 3rd meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at the Foreign Ministers’ level was also held in New Delhi to laid down the foundation of the future framework of the relations. The summit reflects how serious India is about the stability and peace of the region and it will continue to bring together countries and work for it.