India, Uzbekistan ink 17 pacts to strengthen ties

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The historical Mughal-era linkages between the two countries were also strengthened in the form of an MoU.

New Delhi: After talks between visiting Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday, the two nations inked 17 pacts, including in the fields of military education, development of pharmaceutical industry, combating the illicit trafficking narcotic drugs and cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The two countries also agreed to strengthen ties in “diverse sectors such as political ties, defence, security, counter-terrorism, trade and investment, science and technology, space, nuclear energy, information technology, as well as cultural and academic linkages”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a $200 million line of credit for social infrastructure projects in the central Asian nation, adding that Indo-Uzbek ties were a “meeting of emotions and hearts”. “We are moving towards a new era where our bilateral ties will touch new heights and we will strengthen our strategic partnership,” said PM Modi.   

The historical Mughal-era linkages between the two countries were also strengthened in the form of an MoU between Samarkand City in Uzbekistan and the Agra Municipal Corporation as well as an MoU between the Andijan Region in Uzbekistan and the Gujarat government on establishment of mutual cooperation and partnership. The first Mughal emperor in India, Babur, was born in Andijan in modern Uzbekistan. “The (two) sides welcomed the establishment of partnership relations between the Andijan region and the state of Gujarat, as well as cities of Samarkand and Agra,” the Joint Statement said.

It added, “The Indian side thanked the Uzbek side for their support in India’s membership of the Ashgabat Agreement, and expressed hope that Uzbekistan would also join the International North South Transport Corridor.”

The two leaders also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, with the joint statement  saying, “The Sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan and noted that establishment of peace and stability in that country is 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 sides shared the view that countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations without distinction is important for sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan.”

Noting the importance of a safe and secure regional environment for development and prosperity, the Sides agreed to cooperate in addressing threats and challenges to national as well as regional security. The Sides agreed to strengthen cooperation between the law enforcement agencies and special services of the two countries, including under the framework of the Uzbekistan-India Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Both Sides called for early finalisation of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

The joint statement said, “Noting the importance of a safe and secure regional environment for development and prosperity, the Sides agreed to cooperate in addressing threats and challenges to national as well as regional security. The Sides agreed to strengthen cooperation between the law enforcement agencies and special services of the two countries, including under the framework of the Uzbekistan-India Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Both Sides called for early finalisation of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.”

“The sides agreed to constitute an expert group between India and Uzbekistan to conduct Joint Feasibility Study and commence negotiations for India-Uzbekistan Preferential Trade Agreement by the end of 2018,” it added. “The (two) Sides noted the prospects for wider use of opportunities in the free economic zones of the two countries, including in the newly created Uzbek-Indian free pharmaceutical zone in the Andijan region,” the statement further added.

On cooperation in the IT sector, the statement said, “The (two) Sides noted with satisfaction the ongoing cooperation in Information and Communication Technologies. The Sides also noted with satisfaction the training of Uzbek specialists and students in information and communication technologies at the Uzbek-Indian Centre of Information Technologies named after Jawaharlal Nehru in Tashkent and agreed to the need for its further upgrading and facilitating joint training programmes on IT.”

“The (two) Sides agreed to expand cooperation in the IT Sector. They expressed their readiness to explore possibilities of cooperation for opening of branches of Indian Universities/Institutions in the IT, Tourism and hotel management sector in Uzbekistan. The Uzbek side expressed their interest for establishment of an IT Park in Uzbekistan in cooperation with Indian IT companies based on their best practices on software industry development, acceleration of startups,” the statement added.   



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