S Jaishankar holds talks with Uzbek, Latvian counterparts


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Uzbekistani counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov (Twitter image)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Uzbekistani counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov (Twitter image)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Uzbekistani counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov held wide-ranging talks on Tuesday, vowing to boost bilateral trade and investment and explore possibilities for a preferential trade agreement.

“Welcome FM Abdulaziz Kamilov of Uzbekistan. Comprehensive talks on our bilateral agenda. Appreciated his insights on regional issues of common concern,” S Jaishankar said in a tweet.

Emphasising on the need to boost bilateral trade and investment, the two ministers agreed to work towards early conclusion of the feasibility study to be jointly conducted by the two sides to begin negotiations for a preferential trade agreement, the MEA said in a statement.

The External Affairs minister reiterated the need for early operationalisation of the USD 200 million of Line of Credit extended by India to Uzbekistan for which Uzbek side is in the process of finalising necessary details of the identified projects, it said.

Referring to the strategic partnership of the two countries, both the ministers emphasised on the need to maintain the momentum of high level exchanges and implement the agreements reached during the visits of President of Uzbekistan to India in October, 2018 and January last year, the visit of chief minister of Gujarat (October 2019) and that of Defence Minister (November 2019) to Uzbekistan.

Foreign Minister Kamilov reiterated the invitation extended by President of Uzbekistan to the prime minister to visit Uzbekistan.

Kamilov briefed Jaishankar on Uzbekistan’s efforts to liberalise its economy, create business friendly conditions and attract foreign investment, including that from Indian companies.

The ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of defence, counter-terrorism and security, information and communication technology, development partnership and promote cultural exchanges, the statement said.

Kamilov hailed the initiative of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at the level of foreign ministers with the participation of Afghanistan, which was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in January last year.

Cooperation in the multilateral fora, including the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), was also discussed during the meeting, the statement said.

Later in the day, Jaishankar also met Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and Foreign Minister of Czech Republic Tom Petrcek.

“Good conversation with FM @edgarsrinkevics of Latvia on global issues, technology opportunities and contemporary challenges,” S Jaishankar tweeted

“Welcomed Czech FM @TPetricek to his first #RaisinaDialogue. Confident it will inspire him to lead a broader engagement with India. Happy to renew my association with this important partnership. Have high expectations from its future,” he said in another tweet.