As he embarks on his eight-day visit to five Central Asian countries and Russia from July 6, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed confidence that it would further enhance ties with these countries as well as other members of BRICS and SCO whose summits he will attend.
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Modi will travel to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. He will also go to Russia where he will attend the summits of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Ufa, Russia. In Uzbekistan, he said, he would be holding talks with President Karimov and the two countries would sign “key agreements” to strengthen bilateral cooperation. Noting that Indian movies, Hindi language and music are very popular in Uzbekistan, Modi said he would be interacting with Indologists, students learning Hindi and members of the Indian community.
During the visit, he will also be paying his tribute to the “proud son of India” Lal Bahadur Shastri. “It was in Tashkent that we lost one of our most popular and respected leaders, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastriji, who ignited our nation with the clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’,” he said.
He will then travel to Kazakhstan, the largest of the Central Asian Nations, on July 7. In Kazakhstan, he will be meeting President Nursultan Nazarbayev, which will be followed by the signing of documents.
In Kazakhstan, the Prime Minister will also address students at Nazarbayev University and inaugurate the India-Kazakhstan Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology.
From Kazakhstan, he will travel to Ufa in Russia to attend the 7th BRICS Summit and SCO Summit. He will then go to Turkmenistan on July 11, marking the first Prime Ministerial visit from India after P V Narasimha Rao’s trip visit in 1995. Modi will unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and inaugurate a Traditional Medicine and Yoga Centre.
On July 12, he will hold talks with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, which will be focused on ways to develop a strong partnership with Kyrgyzstan in as many areas as possible.
“We are glad to be gifting medical equipment to Kyrgyz Field Hospital. I am sure this will touch the lives of several sisters and brothers in Kyrgyzstan. I will inaugurate Tele-medicine links, which shall promote medical tourism from Kyrgyzstan to India. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi will also be unveiled. I will have the opportunity to visit the Kyrgyz-India Mountain Biomedical Research Centre and join the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Victory Monument in Bishkek,” he said.
In the last leg, on July 12 and 13, the PM will be in Tajikistan. “We have a strategic partnership with Tajikistan and a very strong defence cooperation as well. However, our economic cooperation has been limited and the scope of growth is immense. Bilateral trade has huge potential. My visit will build on the existing strong diplomatic and defence ties and script a fresh chapter in our economic ties. I look forward to meeting President Emomali Rahmon…,” he said.