Distinguished Secretary, Ambassador Sanjay Verma,
Distinguished Director-General, Ambassador Vijay Thakur Singh,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Indian Council of World Affairs for organizing today’s International Conference on “Dynamics of India -Central Asia Relations: Scale & Scope” and providing an outstanding environment for its success.
Specially, I would like to thank the host for supporting participation of distinguished experts from our countries.
We believe that such an event and format for conversation would help us not only to share views and knowledges, but also support us in joint quest for defining new ways and opportunities to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in delivering tasks set by the First Central Asia and India Summit, held at the beginning of the year.
Such an exercise is also necessary in the current year, when we jointly have marked the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between India and countries of Central Asia.
If we look to the past three decades of the Tajikistan-India relations, we can see how both sides concentrated every effort in forming solid and wide legal basis for mutually beneficial cooperation.
Today the legal framework of our bilateral cooperation embraces more than 70 documents, which is indeed a remarkable achievement.
At the same time the existing legal documents have created solid basis and flexible frameworks for a number joint working groups and commissions, some of which are active today and promoting our cooperation in the different spheres of mutual interests.
Nowadays, our ties building on lasting common historical and cultural roots, as well as strategically important partnership, cordial and mutual trust continue to embrace many dimensions of human endeavor with a special focus on stability and security, connectivity, trade, industry, agriculture, energy, disaster risks reduction, culture, health, education and humanitarian affairs.
The First India-Central Asia Summit held at the dawn of the fourth decade of diplomatic relations has opened a new chapter in our cooperation, not only by setting the specific goals and tasks, but also with the creating new multilateral mechanisms at ministerial and working levels.
In this connection, recently the first meeting of the NSA/Secretaries of security councils of India and Central Asia were held successfully in New Delhi, where participants shared their views and ideas on our security cooperation considering current and emerging security risks and threats.
In this context, we are looking forward to other ministerial and working level meetings of the India-Central Asia format, which have been planned for the next year.
Availing this opportunity, I would like to shortly dwell on Chabahar, which is expected to be a main hub for increasing our sea and land connectivity aimed at boosting mutual trade.
Without any doubt an emerging transport and transit corridor through Chabahar will strengthen our connectivity and facilitate mutual trade and investments by providing new opportunities and avenues for B2B and G2B interactions.
We believe that Chabahar port would be an important logistical hub in providing access for landlocked countries of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean and beyond.
We hope that through Chabahar port our countries will be connected not only with brotherly India, but also with the other countries, surrounding the vast Indian Ocean.
If we talk about connectivity, we should also look to the potential and opportunities in promoting mutual trade in energy sector in order to provide energy security in our countries.
South and Central Asia are complementary players in the energy market. In this context, we believe that a huge hydropower potential of Central Asia will facilitate achieving energy security in both regions and will provide new opportunities in delivering commitments related to climate change.
At the same time, I would like to underline that along with focusing joint efforts in strengthening physical connectivity, it is necessary to pay more attention to stimulating our cultural, civilizational and linguistic ties.
Since ancient times the peoples of Central Asia and India through exchanges and migration mutually enriched our culture, customs, and languages.
The works of the well-known poets - Amir Khusrawi Dehlavi, Mirzo Bedil, Hassan Dehlavi, Zebunniso and others, still delight the peoples of Central Asia.
Today their rich heritages along with other prominent Indian poets and writers are well taught in the secondary schools of Tajikistan.
Over the lasts years several efforts have been made to jointly preserve and conduct research works on a rich heritage of these poets.
But still, we see the need for a better coordination of the efforts and joint programmes in this direction in accordance with the outcomes of the First India-Central Asia Summit.
Direct and close collaboration of public and private media channels and agencies will support us in the revitalization of our cultural and linguistic connectivity.
Since India has advanced technologies in digitalization, the protection of the common tangible and intangible heritage in a digital format, creating digital archives and websites of these and other prominent poets deems appropriate.
With this point I would like to end my remarks, since we have four interesting panels with distinguished moderators and panelists.
In conclusion I wish all fruitful deliberations.
I thank you for attention!