The third India-Central Asia Dialogue convened by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Sunday is one in a series of timely connections to the region by New Delhi this year, spurred in some measure by events in Afghanistan. The dialogue has been held a month before leaders of all five Central Asian Republics (CARs) come to New Delhi as chief guests for the Republic Day celebrations, and a month after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval’s “Regional Security Dialogue” with his CAR counterparts to discuss Afghanistan. Among the issues discussed on Sunday were extending “immediate” humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, increasing trade, and improving connectivity. It is significant that the CAR Foreign Ministers chose to come to New Delhi, an indicator that India’s outreach to Central Asia, a region neglected by South Block for several decades, is being reciprocated. (Read More)
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