Indian and Uzbekistan ministers held a discussion on the importance and relevance of maintaining close and periodic conversations over the developing situation in Afghanistan, as well as the need to guarantee whether the Afghan territory is not exploited for any terrorist operations. As per ANI, the conversation occurred during a meeting between Meenakashi Lekhi, the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture (MoS), and Abdulaziz Kamilov, the Uzbek Foreign Minister.
Lekhi was in Uzbekistan from September 23 to September 26, 2021. After taking charge as the Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture of India, this was her first official visit to any Central Asian nation. According to a statement released from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Lekhi spoke with Kamilov and discussed the crucial areas of bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement. She even highlighted the importance of implementing the development projects in Uzbekistan as quickly as possible, underneath the USD 1 billion Credit line.
Meenakashi Lekhi’s visit to Uzbekistan
During the meeting, both the parties have also agreed to wrap up their current negotiations for the planned Bilateral Investment Agreement pretty quickly. The MEA issued statement further reads, “MoS conveyed India’s full support to the current Uzbek Presidency of the SCO.”
Lekhi also visited Uzbekistan’s Culture Minister, Ozodbek Nazarbekov, during her tour. Given the profound cultural and civilisational links that exist between India and Uzbekistan, they held a constructive conversation about enhancing collaboration in various sectors of culture. The topic includes the collaboration within the fields of archives, movies, Buddhist site conservation, the establishment of ‘India Study Rooms’ at several Uzbek universities, and literary translation.
During the tour, the Cultural Exchange Program for the years 2021-25 was also signed. While next week, a member of 50 Indian delegations comprised of Indian cinema celebrities will attend the Tashkent Film Festival. On her tour, Lekhi even held a number of speaking engagement sessions.
Honored to meet Deputy PM of Uzbekistan H.E. Aziz Abdukhakimov. Discussed India-Uzbek cooperation in various spheres including cultural ties, sports, yoga and youth exchange. India will be represented by the largest contingent at the forthcoming Tashkent Film Festival. pic.twitter.com/yn56kEoyBw — Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) September 26, 2021
As an aspect of the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,” the speaking engagement sessions were on “India’s democratic traditions” at the Tashkent State University of Law and a talk on “India-Uzbekistan Relations-Strengthening Strategic Partnership” at the Bukhara State University. She visited with prominent Indologists from the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and other institutions to explore how Indian studies and philosophies might be promoted in Uzbekistan.
Delighted to interact with leading Indologists from Uzbekistan. Appreciated their contribution to India studies, teaching of Hindi & popularizing Indian culture. Thanked them for strengthening the bonds of friendship between India & Uzbekistan.
@ICCR_Delhi @MinCultureofIndia pic.twitter.com/0nRfDf9l7w — Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) September 26, 2021
MoS also spoke with the members of the Tashkent Indian community and Indian students at Samarkand State Medical Institute. She emphasised the significant function of the Indian diaspora in bolstering India’s connections with other nations, particularly Uzbekistan. The Indian community was also invited to take part in the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav festivities.
Happy to visit Samarkand State Medical Institute & interact with Indian students. We are committed to ensure welfare of Indian citizens no matter in which part of the world they are. For any assistance, citizens in need are encouraged to contact through M & RISHTA portals. pic.twitter.com/mCkiZwjqky — Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) September 26, 2021