Dushanbe (Tajikistan) : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India and Tajikistan have resolved to intensify cooperation in combating terrorism as well as in the spheres of defence and connectivity as he held talks with President Emomali Rahmon here, the last of his stops on his Central Asia tour.
Both sides also inked agreements on culture and human resource development.
In his media statement after holding talks with Rahmon at the Qasr-e-Millat (Palace of Nations), Modi said both countries are bound by deep historical, cultural and civilisational links.
“Tajikistan is nearest to India among all Central Asian countries. We are separated by a narrow corridor. Our linguistic links are the closest in Central Asia.”
He said Tajikistan is the last stop on his visit to the five Central Asian countries, “but, we sometimes save the special one for the last”.
Speaking on terrorism, Modi said both nations are “located in the proximity of the main source of terrorism. Combating terrorism and extremism has always been an important and productive area of cooperation. At a time of growing threat of terrorism, we have resolved to intensify our cooperation further.”
He said both have agreed to strengthen defence cooperation, “it is a strong pillar of our strategic partnership”.
Modi said both sides have discussed measures to tap the rich potential in trade and commerce and encourage joint ventures and investments. Both have tasked the Joint Commission to meet soon and finalise a concrete roadmap to expand trade and economic ties.
On connectivity, Modi said that it is vital for realising the full potential of trade and commerce between the two countries.
Both have agreed to promote the International North South Transport Corridor, that seeks to connect Mumbai with St. Petersburg.
Modi said he hoped both nations could establish a direct link to promote prosperity across the region.
Modi conveyed India’s appreciation for Tajikistan’s continued support for India’s candidature for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council.
He said with India becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation it would add a new dimension to the bilateral partnership.
He also thanked President Rahmon and Tajikistan for their support in making the International Day of Yoga on June 21 a huge global success.
He also invited Rahmon to visit India.
The Programme of Cooperation (POC) between India and Tajikistan for the years 2016-18 is for exchange of expertise in protection, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, exchange of information and experts and organisation of cultural days.
Both sides also inked a Exchange of Note Verbale (NV) for setting up computer labs in 37 schools in Tajikistan.
Modi, who arrived here on Sunday evening, returns to India after concluding his eight-day Central Asia tour.