Uzbekistan joins India to call for peace process in Af

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is presented a book by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev look on, at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Uzbekistan on Monday joined India to call for a genuine Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled peace and reconciliation process in war-torn Afghanistan.

The situation in Afghanistan was high on the agenda when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev met in New Delhi on Monday. They noted that establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan was of great significance to the security and stability of the entire region, including in India and Uzbekistan and their neighbourhood.

The meeting between Modi and Mirziyoyev was followed by signing of 17 agreements to step up bilateral cooperation in defence, law and justice, agriculture and health. They emphasised the need to further enhance efforts to achieve the target of bilateral trade of $1 billion by 2020.

The pacts inked by India and Afghanistan on Monday included a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation between the Office of the Security Council under the President of Uzbekistan and the National Security Council Secretariat of India. They also inked an agreement between Uzbekistan and India on mutual cooperation in combating illicit trafficking narcotic drugs.

Modi and Mirziyoyev reiterated support for efforts of the government and the people of Afghanistan for a genuine Afghan-owned, Afghan-led and Afghan controlled peace and reconciliation process that would allow for a peaceful, secure, united, inclusive and prosperous nation.

They shared the view that countering terrorism in all its forms and manifestations without distinction is important for sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan. They expressed continued support for reconstruction and revival of Afghanistan, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.

Prime Minister and Uzbek President agreed to work closely together to expand and strengthen defence and defence industry cooperation. They agreed to hold a joint military training exercise in the area of counter-terrorism, cooperate in the field of military education and military medicine, setting up of a joint working group to support and sustain enhanced mutually beneficial defence-related activities.

They also agreed to strengthen cooperation between the law enforcement agencies and special services of the two countries.

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Uzbekistan joins India to call for peace process in Af

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