NSAs, security councils of Central Asian countries call Chabahar port ‘important’

6 December, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

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During the meeting, the Central Asian nations were urged to take into account joining the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and ...

According to the Joint Communique of the 1st India-Central Asia meeting of National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Secrecy, the Chabahar Port was highlighted as “important” and further development of this transport corridor was discussed as it played a critical role during the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and in the delivery of humanitarian goods to the Afghan people by international organisations.

During the meeting, the Central Asian nations were urged to take into account joining the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor, as well as India. “India and Central Asian member countries of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), as well as the Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor, called upon other Central Asian countries to consider joining these initiatives,” according to the Joint Communique of 1st India-Central Asia meeting of National Security Advisers.

The National Security Advisors also reviewed the current situation in Afghanistan and its implications on regional security and stability, emphasising their strong support for a peaceful, stable, and secure Afghanistan.

According to the official statement, the leaders also emphasised the importance of UN Security Council Resolution 2593 (2021), which states that no terrorist organisations, including those listed in UN Security Council Resolution 1267, should be granted asylum or allowed to operate on Afghan territory.

“The territory of Afghanistan should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts and reaffirmed the importance of UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021), that no terrorist organizations including those designated by the UNSC Resolution 1267 should be provided sanctuary or allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan,” the statement read.

Moreover, counterterrorism, regional security and the situation in Afghanistan were the dominating issues during the meeting of “National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Security Councils” of Central Asian countries, who gathered in the national capital on Tuesday.

Addressing the Central Asian representatives here, Uzbekistan Secretary Security Council Viktor Makhmudov said Tuesday’s agenda was important in coordinating efforts to ensure regional security and expansion of practical cooperation on Afghanistan.

Tajikistan’s Security Council Secretary Nasrullo Mahmudzoda said new challenges and threats, including cybercrime, cyber terrorism, and environmental, and biological threats, are emerging against the background of instability and uncertainty in different parts of the world.

He underlined that the highly destructive ideology of religious radicalism is advancing rapidly. “In this context, security issues remain a key focus of our work.”

In establishing strategies to combat terrorism, extremism, and drug trafficking, central Asian nations and India share a common interest, according to Marat Imankulov, the Secretary to the Security Council of Kyrgyzstan.

On the other hand, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval emphasised making countering terror financing a priority for India and other countries in the region.

Addressing the inaugural meeting of “National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Security Councils” with his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Doval said, “Afghanistan is an important issue concerning us all.”

“India’s concerns and objectives …and immediate priority and the way forward, are similar to many of those around the table,” Doval said.

Following the first summit in January 2022 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the first one-day NSA meeting took place on Tuesday.

According to NSA Doval, the meeting on Tuesday was inspired by the India-Central Asia Summit conducted in January of this year. According to Doval, the gathering takes place at a period of enormous turbulence in international relations and anxiety about the future.

This inaugural India-Central Asia summit coincided with the 30th anniversary of India’s diplomatic relations with Central Asian countries. The participants strongly advocated for the early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism during the meeting, according to the Joint Communique.

The gathering is the result of a decision made during the first India-Central Asia Summit (27 January 2022) to organise regular meetings of Security Council secretaries to discuss regional security issues.