Top security officials from India and Central Asian countries on Tuesday unanimously decided that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to sheltering terrorism and reiterated support for a stable and peaceful Kabul.
The participating nations also discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the security and stability of the region and emphasised that the territory of the country should not be used for sheltering or financing terrorist acts.
During the first meeting of National Security Advisors and Secretaries of Security Councils in New Delhi, officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated while Turkmenistan is being represented by its ambassador to India.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval said financial support is the “lifeblood" of terrorism and greater priority should be accorded to counter terror financing. He also said that connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries, in remarks that came amid increasing criticism of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Describing Central Asia as India’s “extended neighbourhood", Doval said New Delhi accords “highest priority" to this region, adding Afghanistan is an important issue “concerning all of us".
He also spoke on the security situation in Afghanistan and said that it is an important issue concerning us all.
The meeting comes at a time when India and Central Asian countries celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
The India-Central Asia ties including in the political, trade, economy, security and defence fields have transformed into multifaceted and mutually beneficial relations based on mutual trust, understanding and friendship, a government statement said.
During the meeting, the NSAs “condemned in the strongest terms all forms and manifestations of terrorism and underscored the need to work collectively to fight this menace (terrorism).”
The participating nations also emphasised the importance of Chabahar Port played during the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and its immense potential in enhancing trade and connectivity in delivering humanitarian goods to Afghanistan.
The heads of the delegations expressed their gratitude to India for orgaising and hosting the meeting and reaffirmed the importance of continuing the meeting.
A number of Central Asian countries share land borders with Afghanistan and there have been concerns by them after the Taliban seized power in Kabul in August last year.
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