New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the first India-Central Asia Summit in a virtual format on January 27, the Ministry of External Affairs announced on Wednesday.
The summit will be held with the participation of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the MEA said in a statement.
This will be the first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders, it said.
The first India-Central Asia Summit is a reflection of India's growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India's "extended neighbourhood", the MEA said.
Prime Minister Modi paid a historic visit to all Central Asian countries in 2015. Subsequently, there have been exchanges at high-levels at bilateral and multilateral forums.
The inception of the India-Central Asia Dialogue at Foreign Ministers' level, the third meeting of which was held in New Delhi from December 18-20, 2021, has provided an impetus to India-Central Asia relations, the MEA said.
The participation of the secretaries of National Security Councils of Central Asian countries in the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan held in New Delhi on November 10, 2021 outlined a common regional approach on Afghanistan.
During the first India-Central Asia Summit, the leaders are expected to discuss steps to take forward India-Central Asia relations to newer heights, the MEA said.
They are also expected to exchange views on regional and international issues of interest, especially the evolving regional security situation.
The summit is symbolic of the importance attached by the leaders of India and the Central Asian countries to a comprehensive and enduring India-Central Asia partnership, the statement said.