President Kovind to visit TAJIKISTAN

Prelims level : Mains level : G.S- II Bilateral Relations.
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Why in News?

  • President Ram Nath kovind embarked on a three-day visit to Tajikistan. During the visit, the president will meet his Tajik counterpart Emamoli Rahmon.

Agenda of the visit:

  • President will visit the Tajik National University where he will deliver an address on ‘Countering Radicalization: Challenges in Modern Societies’. He will address the members of the Indian Diaspora in Tajikistan. He will pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore by visiting their memorials in Dushanbe and will offer floral tributes.
  • During the visit of president, all areas of bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation are expected to be discussed. Given the close relationship between the two countries, the visit is expected to lead to further strengthening of Indo-Tajik bilateral relations.
  • This will be the very first visit of President Kovind to Central Asia.

India-Tajikistan Relationship:

  • Central Asia is a region with which India has had historical links and close cultural affinity. India and Tajikistan have a relation of close cooperation, friendship and trust. \
  • India-Tajikistan bilateral relations have steadily grown and have diversified in many fields. Since 2012 both countries have elevated their relationship to the level of strategic partnership.
  • There have been several exchanges of visits at the highest level between the two countries. Prime Minister Vajpayee had visited Tajikistan in 2003.
  • Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi visited Tajikistan in 2015 as part of his visit to all the five Central Asian countries. President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon has visited India five times, his last visit being in December 2016.
  • The leadership of the two countries also frequent meetings on the side lines of various multilateral fora. These regular visits at the highest level have cemented the bilateral ties as well as demonstrate the importance the two countries attach to this relationship.
  • Tajikistan is situated in a strategically important region. India and Tajikistan have been facing common challenges of terrorism, radicalisation and extremism. The leadership of Tajikistan has been resolute against these challenges to the modern society and has taken effective steps to contain them. Tajikistan has been engaged in the task of development and growth of its economy and welfare of its people. In the field of Defence cooperation, the two countries have a Joint Working Group to decide on various programmes of cooperation. India is engaged in training and capacity building of Tajik Defence forces. India has also contributed in terms of helping in renovation and reconstruction of the Gissar Military Aerodrome in Ayni.
  • India and Tajikistan are together engaged in bilateral cooperation in multifarious fields to promote their trade and investment. Our bilateral trade has reached almost US $74 million last year. The major hurdle in developing this trade comes from lack of direct connectivity which increases transportation costs.
  • India has provided development assistance and executed several medium and small projects to help in various fields like agriculture, food processing, power generation, IT education, training, capacity building and health. A number of Indian companies are also engaged in electric transmission projects in Tajikistan.
  • From time to time, India has provided humanitarian assistance to Tajikistan. India operates a 50-bed Indo-Tajik Friendship Hospital in Qurgen Teppa in Tajikistan for the benefit of the armed forces personnel of Tajikistan as well as the local civilian population. Earlier, this year India gifted 10 ambulances to augment healthcare in various regions of Tajikistan. India provides various scholarship slots for Tajik candidates to train in India under the ITEC (India Technical and Economic Cooperation) programme as well as courses offered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
  • So far India has trained 1400 Tajik candidates under ITEC slots and 360 under ICCR scholarship programme.
  • In the multilateral fora, India and Tajikistan cooperate closely. Tajikistan supported India’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization membership. India supported Tajikistan’s accession to WTO in 2013.
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