Both leaders discussed economic, trade, and investment cooperation and ways to strengthen political cooperation

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and discussed expanding bilateral economic and development cooperation.

Jaishankar is in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe to attend the 9th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference.

Speaking after his meeting with President Rahmon at a press conference, Jaishankar said, “I have the privilege of calling on President Rahmon and discussing with him our bilateral cooperation and also the situation in Afghanistan. We are here also to express our strong solidarity with Tajikistan in the fight against Covid-19 and support it as it assumes the SCO chairmanship.”

During the meeting, both leaders discussed economic, trade, and investment cooperation along with the ways to strengthen political cooperation.

“I was very happy that I arrived to visit one of the projects which is the Dushante bypass road which is under construction. So, we discussed how to expand our economic, trade and investment cooperation, how to expand in terms of capacity building, how to strengthen our political cooperation, and how to work more closely,” Jaishankar said.

After the meeting, the External Affairs Minister took to Twitter and said, “Thank President @EmomaliRahmon of Tajikistan for receiving me. Conveyed the greetings of President Kovind & PM Modi. Discussed expanding our bilateral economic and development cooperation. Appreciated his assessment of the Afghan situation.”

Tajikistan shares a 1,400-km-long porus border with Afghanistan and has immense geo-strategic significance for India which has been providing military assistance to it as part of counter-terrorism cooperation. India has also developed the Ayni airbase near the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

On the sidelines of the Heart of Asia conference here, Jaishankar also met his Kazakh counterpart Mukhtar Tileuberdi and reviewed bilateral and international cooperation.

“A good meeting with DPM & FM Mukhtar Tileuberdi of Kazakhstan. Useful review of our bilateral and international cooperation,” he tweeted.

The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) ministerial conference is part of the Istanbul Process – a regional initiative on security and cooperation for a stable and peaceful Afghanistan – that was launched on November 2, 2011 in Turkey.