New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday virtually hosted the first India-Central Asia Summit and stressed that the cooperation between India and Central Asia is essential for regional security particularly in the context of the developments in Afghanistan.

During the summit - which was attended by Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - PM Modi also asserted that Central Asia is "central to India's vision of an integrated and stable extended neighbourhood".

"Our concerns and objectives with respect to regional security are the same. We all are concerned about the developments in Afghanistan and in this context cooperation between India and Central Asia has become all the more important for regional stability and security," PM Modi said, as reported by news agency PTI.

Since the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban last year, India has been pitching for providing unimpeded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to address the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the country.

At the same time, India has also been insisting that Afghan soil must not be used for any terrorist activities against any country.

Leaders call for cooperation in trade, defence and connectivity

During the summit, the leaders also called for cooperation in "trade and connectivity, development cooperation, defence and security and, in particular, on cultural and people to people contacts".

"These included a Round-Table on Energy and Connectivity; Joint Working Groups at senior official level on Afghanistan and use of Chabahar Port; showcasing of Buddhist exhibitions in Central Asian countries and commissioning of an India-Central Asia dictionary of common words, joint counter-terrorism exercises, visit of 100 member youth delegation annually from Central Asian countries to India and special courses for Central Asian diplomats," said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in a release.

"A comprehensive Joint Declaration was adopted by the leaders that enumerates their common vision for an enduring and comprehensive India-Central Asia partnership."

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma