India, Uzbek ink 34 pacts, discuss terrorism

New Delhi: As many as 34 pacts including those in the field of IT, pharmaceuticals and hydrocarbons were inked between India and Uzbekistan, which also agreed to elevate bilateral ties to a long term and strategic partnership based on equality and mutual understanding.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Uzbek President Islam Abduganievich Karimov, who is here on a two-day state visit, held talks during which they reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and exchanged views on important regional and international issues.

Noting that they have strong similarity of outlook on bilateral, as well as, on host of regional and global issues, both leaders agreed to elevate the bilateral relationship to a long term and strategic partnership based on equality and mutual understanding, aimed at active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas including political and counter-terrorism.

The Prime Minister and President Karimov condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and decided to continue holding consultations on the issue, under the aegis of the Indo-Uzbek Joint Working Group on combating international terrorism.

The leaders had a detailed discussion on the continuing unstable situation in Afghanistan and underlined the importance of early establishment of peace and stability in the country.

Singh shared his perspectives on Afghanistan, based on his recent visit to Kabul, an External Affairs Ministry release said here.

As many as 34 bilateral agreements were concluded, at the Government level and between business entities, in areas such as Information Technology, Pharmaceuticals, Textiles, Standardisation, Small and Medium Enterprises, Coal gasification, Oil & Gas, Science & Technology, Banking and Tourism.

Apart from cooperation in political and counter terrorism, the partnership envisages active exchange in a wide spectrum of areas including economic, education, health, human resource development, energy, science and technology, tourism and culture.

Uzbekistan reaffirmed support for India`s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council and the two sides also agreed to strengthen their cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation organisation (SCO).