(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
India on Wednesday announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the first India-Central Asia Summit in a virtual format on January 27 as part of the country's engagement with the extended neighbourhood.
The development follows the government's decision to go ahead with Republic Day celebrations on January 26 without any foreign leader as chief guest because of a surge in Covid-19 infections.
The Indian side had earlier invited the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to be chief guests, though no formal announcement was made by any of the countries.
The external affairs ministry said the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the virtual summit, described as the“first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders”.
The summit reflects New Delhi's growing engagement with the Central Asian states, part of India's“extended neighbourhood”, and is symbolic of the importance attached by leaders of India and Central Asia to a comprehensive and enduring partnership, the ministry said.
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