National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Tuesday said India accorded the highest priority to Central Asia as it was “our extended neighbourhood”, and a “peaceful, secure, prosperous” Central Asia was in our common interest. Doval was addressing his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in a high-level security meeting in New Delhi.
“Central Asia is our extended neighbourhood and we accord highest priority to this region. A peaceful, secure, prosperous Central Asia is in our common interest,” Doval was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Doval also said that building connectivity with Central Asian countries was a key priority for India. “India stands ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in region. While expanding connectivity, it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are consultative,” he said.
Talking about the security situation in Afghanistan, Doval said, “Afghanistan is an important issue concerning us all. India’s objectives with regard to immediate priorities in Afghanistan are similar to those of many of us.” He added that “existence of terrorist networks in the region, including in Afghanistan, is a matter of deep concern.”
“Financing is the lifeblood of terrorism and countering terror financing should be an equal priority for all of us. We should call on United Nations member states to fulfill obligations enshrined in relevant counter-terror conventions,” Doval further said.
(Inputs from PTI)