"It is clear that cooperation between India and Central Asia is essential for regional security and prosperity. From an Indian point of view, I would like to emphasize that Central Asia is central to India's vision of an integrated and stable extended neighbourhood. The second objective is to give an effective structure to our cooperation. This will establish a framework of regular interactions at different levels and among various stakeholders. And, the third objective is to create an ambitious roadmap for our cooperation. Through this, we will be able to adopt an integrated approach for regional connectivity and cooperation for the next 30 years," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the first India-Central Asia Summit.
The ministry of external affairs organised the summit virtually on Thursday which was attended by the heads of all five Central Asian countries -- Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan. It is an extension of the 3rd meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue which was held in New Delhi on 19 December 2021 under the chairmanship of the External Affairs Minister of India and attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of these countries.
Talking about the specific areas of cooperation with these five countries, Modi said that Kazakhstan has become a vital partner for India's energy security. Our state governments are also active partners in our growing cooperation with Uzbekistan. This includes my home state of Gujarat as well. We have an active partnership with Kyrgyzstan in the field of education and high-altitude research. Thousands of Indian students are studying there, the PM added.
With Tajikistan, we have longstanding security cooperation. And we are continuously strengthening it. Turkmenistan is an important part of the Indian vision in the field of regional connectivity, which is evident from our participation in the Ashgabat Agreement, he said.