Future bright for India-Uzbekistan ties: PM Modi
PM Modi with President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov during joint press statement at Kuksaroy Complex, Tashkent. (Photo: PIB India/Twitter)

TASHKENT: India and Uzbekistan on Monday discussed Afghanistan and the “rising threat of extremism and terrorism in the extended neighbourhood” as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov, on his first stop on his Central Asian tour.

Modi, who held restricted and delegational talks with Karimov, said both nations agreed to intensity security cooperation and exchanges and also defence and cyber security cooperation.

In his media statement following the talks, Modi said both sides discussed steps to implement the contract signed earlier for supply of uranium from Uzbekistan.

Both leaders also discussed initiatives to enhance connectivity.

Modi said he briefed Karimov about the International North South Transport Corridor and proposed that Uzbekistan become a member.

“I sought his support for India joining the Ashgabat Agreement” — a transport corridor that would link Central Asia to the seaports in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.

He also said both countries will also seek to work in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Modi said his five-nation tour of Central Asia reflects India’s resolve to start a new era in ties with the Central Asian republics.

He said his visit to Uzbekistan underlines its importance for India, “not just in the context of this region, but also more broadly in Asia”.