External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will visit three countries in Central Asian region from 2-5 August 2018. She will be in the Republic of Kazakhstan on 2 and 3 August, in the Kyrgyz Republic on 3 and 4 August and in the Republic of Uzbekistan on 4 and 5 August 2018.
During her visit to Astana, EAM Sushma Swaraj will hold a bilateral meeting with Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Sushma Swaraj will call on the leadership of the country and interact with Indian community in Kazakhstan. India and Kazakhstan have a close strategic partnership and multi-faceted relations. The bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan have been strengthened by the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan in 2015 and by his visit for SCO Summit in June 2017 when he had a productive meeting with the President of Kazakhstan. There have also been meetings between the leaders on the margins of SCO and Nuclear Security Summits keeping up the momentum in the growth of bilateral relations.
The next leg of the visit would take EAM to Kyrgyzstan where she would interact with Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. Sushma Swaraj will also call on the leadership of the Kyrgyz Republic. India and Kyrgyzstan share multi-dimensional relations including political, parliamentary, defence, science and technology and health. The bilateral visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Kyrgyz Republic in July 2015 and of the then President of the Kyrgyz Republic to India in December 2016, as also interactions on the margins of SCO Summits, have consolidated the traditionally cordial and close ties between the two countries, providing impetus to further strengthening of bilateral ties. EAM Sushma Swaraj earlier interacted with Foreign Minister Abdyldaev on a number of occasions including on the margins of UNGA.
In the last segment of her three nation Central Asian tour, EAM Sushma Swaraj would arrive in Tashkent on 4 August 2018. Here she would hold in-depth discussions with Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs. She will also call on the leadership of Uzbekistan. Her visit will include interaction with indologists and members of the Indian community. Sushma Swaraj will also offer floral tributes at the memorial of former Prime Minister of India late Lal Bahadur Shastri. India and Uzbekistan enjoy a close strategic partnership. Bilateral relations between India and Uzbekistan have been strengthened by regular high level interactions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Uzbekistan in July 2015 and for SCO Summit in June 2016. Recently, EAM Sushma Swaraj had received Foreign Minister Kamilov for bilateral visits in 2017 and 2018 and also met him on the margins of SCO in April 2018.
In a press statement, the MEA said:
EAM’s visit to the three Central Asian countries is her first visit to these countries as External Affairs Minister. The visit is in pursuit of India’s objective of enhanced engagement with this region which is India’s extended neighbourhood. It will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions with the political leadership on a wide range of global, regional and bilateral issues and will advance India’s growing engagement with the Central Asian Region.