They agreed to continue their close consultations on the situation in Afghanistan

India and the five Central Asian nations on Thursday reiterated their strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan.

The leaders of India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the security and stability of the region during the 1st India-Central Asia Summit which was held in a virtual format.

The Summit, hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was attended by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

"They reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasizing the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs. They also discussed the current humanitarian situation and decided to continue to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan," said the Delhi Declaration adopted at the Summit.

The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) which unequivocally demands that Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups, including those sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Declaration added.

They noted that there is a broad ‘regional consensus’ on the issues related to Afghanistan, which includes formation of a truly representative and inclusive government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, central role of the UN, providing immediate humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan and preserving the rights of women, children and other national ethnic groups and minorities.

In this regard, the Leaders noted the initiative of Uzbekistan to hold a High-Level International Conference on Afghanistan under the auspices of the SCO in July 2022 in Tashkent.

They also agreed to continue close consultations on the situation in Afghanistan and decided on the establishment of a Joint Working Group on Afghanistan at Senior Officials Level.

Recalling the centuries-old close civilizational, cultural, trade and people-to-people linkages between India and Central Asian countries, the Leaders looked forward to building a long term, comprehensive, and enduring India-Central Asia partnership based on mutual trust, understanding and friendship, the Declaration said.

The Leaders welcomed the holding of the first India – Central Asia Summit and agreed to hold it every two years. Apart from the India – Central Asia Dialogue mechanism at Foreign Ministers level, they agreed that the Ministers of Trade and Culture would meet at regular intervals to take forward cooperation in these areas.

They also agreed to continue regular meetings of Secretaries of the Security Council to discuss security developments in the region. The Central Asian Leaders welcomed the offer of India to establish an "India – Central Asia Centre” in New Delhi which could act as the Secretariat for the India – Central Asia Summit.