• The first India-Central Asia Dialogue will be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on January 12 and 13.
• It will be co-chaired by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov.
• The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan will participate in the dialogue as a special invitee for the session dedicated to connectivity issues in the region, while the Foreign Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan will represent their respective countries at the event.
• The participants of the conference will also deliberate on developing viable connectivity options between India and Afghanistan and Central Asia to further facilitate trade and economic activity in the region.
• The event is expected to strengthen India’s engagement with all the Central Asian nations, taking it to a “new level”, according to the MEA.
Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Prelims level: India-Central Asia Dialogue
Mains level: India’s initiatives for enhancing economic cooperation in Central Asia