PM Modi to visit five Central Asian nations, Russia next week

New Delhi, July 4 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will next week undertake a visit to five Central Asian nations and Russia, where he will participate in the BRICS and SCO Summit.

“On 6th July I will begin my visit to five Central Asian nations and Russia, where I will participate in the BRICS and SCO Summit,” said the Prime Minister.

“My first visit will be to Uzbekistan, which is the most populous country in Central Asia. India and Uzbekistan enjoy a close strategic partnership. In Uzbekistan I would be holding talks with President Karimov and we would be inking key agreements to strengthen cooperation between our countries. We want to expand our economic ties with Uzbekistan and enhance trade and economic linkages. I must add that President Karimov has visited India five times, including four times as President, with the last visit taking place in 2011,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi said it is well known that Indian movies, language and music are very popular in Uzbekistan.

“In fact, the Uzbek radio completed 50 years of Hindi broadcasting in 2012. During this visit I would be interacting with Indologists, students learning Hindi and members of the Indian community. There are over 3000 Indians in Uzbekistan,” he said.

“It was in Tashkent that we lost one of our most popular and respected leaders, Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, who ignited our Nation with the clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan.’ I will be paying my tributes to this proud son of India during the visit,” he further added.

Prime Minister Modi said he was confident that this visit will be a major step towards further expanding India-Uzbekistan ties.

“I will be in Kazakhstan, the largest of the central Asian Nations, on 7th and 8th July. This will be my second stop during my visit to Central Asia. Kazakhstan is India’s largest trading partner in Central Asia and has been a valued friend of India at various international forums. India and Kazakhstan have a strategic partnership, indicating the importance we attach to relation with Kazakhstan,” he added.

In Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Modi will be meeting President Nazarbayev and Prime Minister Karim Massimov, whom he met briefly in Singapore in March this year.

There will also be delegation level talks with President Nazarbayev followed by the signing of documents and a joint press statement.

“India and Kazakhstan are cooperating in a wide range of sectors including energy and space. I see a huge opportunity for our economic ties to grow further. India and Kazakhstan can also increase ties in agriculture,” said Prime Minister Modi.

“During this visit I look forward to interacting with the youth of Kazakhstan at the Nazarbayev University. I will inaugurate the India-Kazakhstan Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology at the LN Gumilev Eurasian National University. I will join a wreath laying ceremony and planting of sapling at the Monument of Defenders of Motherland,” he added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that India’s cultural ties with Kazakhstan are deep rooted.

“Our films, TV serials and dances are very popular. Yoga is gaining popularity. I must appreciate the enthusiasm with which Kazakhstan joined Yoga Day celebrations on 21st June,” he said, adding, “May this visit script a historic chapter in our ties with a valued friend”.

Prime Minister Modi will then join the 7th BRICS Summit and SCO Summit in Ufa, Russia.

“In the past one year I have had the opportunity to meet the BRICS leaders at the Summit in Brazil and during other international forums. The Summit last year was productive and I am sure we will build on the ground covered during the last Summit. I expect positive outcomes in economic cooperation and cultural ties among the BRICS nations,” he said.

Prime Minister Modi will be meeting the leaders individually and will be a part of the various interactions of BRICS leaders with captains of industry and leaders of other invited states.

“India attaches high importance to BRICS. It is a great forum that can contribute effectively to mitigate global challenges. BRICS also has a very crucial role to play in further world peace and security and ensuring we leave behind a better planet for our future generations,” he said.

After the BRICS Summit, Prime Minister Modi will reach Turkmenistan on July 11. This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister after PV Narasimha Rao’s visit in 1995.

Prime Minister Modi said he views this visit as “an excellent opportunity to strengthen India-Turkmenistan ties in several areas”.

The visit will begin with a meeting with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, followed by talks, signing of agreements and a meeting with the press.

“Areas where I see a rich scope for better ties with Turkmenistan include tourism, fertilizers, space, science and technology and defence. Our bilateral trade is way below its potential and I am confident we can improve it,” said Prime Minister Modi.

He will inaugurate a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and a Traditional Medicine and Yoga Centre.

Prime Minister said he was very happy to see the increased enthusiasm towards Yoga in Turkmenistan. He will also lay wreath at the Mausoleum of the First President.

“It is my firm belief that my visit will take India-Turkmenistan ties to the next level and benefit our citizens,” said the Prime Minister.

The fourth Central Asian country that Prime Minister Modi will visit will be Kyrgyzstan. This is the first Prime Ministerial visit in 20 years.

“I will be there on 12th July. My talks with President Almazbek Atambayev will be focused on ways to develop a strong partnership with Kyrgyzstan in as many areas as possible. Stronger economic ties between India and Kyrgyzstan will be very helpful in the long run. I am eager to also meet Prime Minister Semir Tariyev and Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Asylbek Jeenbekov,” he said.

“We are glad to be gifting medical equipment to Kyrgyz Field Hospital. I am sure this will touch the lives of several sisters and brothers in Kyrgyzstan. I will inaugurate Tele-medicine links, which shall promote medical tourism from Kyrgyzstan to India. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will also be unveiled. I will have the opportunity to visit the Kyrgyz-India Mountain Biomedical Research Centre and join the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Victory Monument in Bishkek,” he added.

“May this visit usher in a new era of very strong India-Kyrgyzstan ties,” he further said.

On July 12 and 13, the Prime Minister will be in Tajikistan. The last Prime Ministerial visit to Tajikistan was by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in November 2003.

“We have a strategic partnership with Tajikistan and have very strong defence cooperation as well. However, our economic cooperation has been limited and the scope of growth is immense. Bilateral trade has huge potential,” said Prime Minister Modi.

“My visit will build on the existing strong diplomatic and defence ties and script a fresh chapter in our economic ties. I look forward to meeting President Emomali Rahmon. Key agreements will also be signed after our meeting. I will be gifting medicines for the India-Tajikistan Friendship Hospital,” he added.

“You would be interested to know that Indian films are shown on Tajik television. The Indian Cultural Centre in Dushanbe is popular among people, who go there to learn Tabla, Kathak, Yoga and Hindi among other activities. A statue of the beloved and widely admired Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore will be unveiled in Dushanbe,” the Prime Minister further said.

Prime Minister Modi added that he was optimistic that the outcomes from this visit will be very positive and further deepen the strong bond between India and Tajikistan. (ANI)

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