India, Kyrgyzstan strengthen ties, sign six pacts

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev after their joint statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev after their joint statement at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with visiting Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev on Tuesday afternoon. Both leaders vowed to strengthen their ties inking six pacts along with outlining broad contours for a bilateral investment agreement.

Both sides resolved to combat terrorism and decided to strengthen ties in areas of defence, security, mining, IT, agriculture and energy.

“We discussed how we could work together to secure our youth and society against common challenges of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism. We agreed on the need to coordinate and work closely in addressing and overcoming these challenges for our common benefit,” PM Modi said in his statement.

The two leaders also reviewed the “cooperative engagement” in defence. PM Modi said work on a Kyrgyz-India Joint Military Training Center in Kyrgyztan has commenced. Besides joint military exercises, the two countries have been cooperating on high-mountain biomedical research to know the impact on soldiers when they carry out operations at high altitude.

With an aim to broaden economic engagement, the two sides initiated a bilateral investment agreement. The six MoUs will provide for deeper cooperation in areas of agriculture, tourism, culture, broadcasting and youth affairs.

PM Modi said both sides agreed to connect each other’s economies “more deeply”.

“We will encourage industry and business on both sides to play a leading role in exploiting opportunities in healthcare, tourism, information technology, agriculture, mining and energy….We have decided to build on our development cooperation including in capacity building and training,” he added.

In his comments, President Atambayev said he was not happy over the current volume of bilateral trade and that there was huge untapped potential for its expansion.

Modi called Kyrgyzstan a valuable partner in India’s common pursuit of making Central Asia a region of sustainable peace, stability and prosperity.

The joint statement said the Kyrgyz side reiterated support for the rightful claim of India for permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council.

(With inputs from PTI)