India and Uzbekistan conducted their 16th India-Uzbekistan Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) on August 7 in Tashkent. The two sides discussed a range of bilateral issues, with connectivity and enhancing cooperation within the framework of the India-Central Asia partnership taking centre stage. The meeting was co-chaired by Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West), MEA, and Bakhromjon Aloyev, Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan.
Further, MEA Secretary (West) called on the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Bakhtiyor Saidov. The two sides also stressed the need to further strategize the India-Uzbekistan economic and defence partnership. Secretary (West), along with Director of Uzbekistan Post Alisher Faizullayev, jointly released a commemorative postal stamp on India’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
The Ministry of External Affairs informed that to mark the formal closing of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, an Indian cultural finale was held in the amphitheatre of the iconic Eternal City of Samarkand. It witnessed artists from the Lal Bahadur Shastri Centre for Indian Culture, Tashkent and Uzbekistan’s Havaas group, famous for its Bollywood-inspired performances, entertain the audience.
Relations between India and Uzbekistan have been growing steadily across various domains. These relations are based on historical and cultural ties as well as mutual interests in trade, energy, security, and regional stability.
In recent years, India has been intensifying its trade relations with Central Asian countries. The India-Central Asia Summit, which witnessed participation from the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, was a major step. It also witnessed the signing of MoUs for the implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) for socio-economic development in Central Asian countries, based on grant assistance by India.