New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) India and Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday pledged to work together to prevent youths from falling prey to the common challenges of terrorism, extremism and radicalism as the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening all-round cooperation
In a joint address to the media with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev after delegation-level talks here, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two sides “focused on our common priority of diversifying and deepening bilateral engagement”.
“We also discussed how we could work together to secure our youth and society against the common challenges of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism,” he said.
“We agreed on the need to coordinate and work closely in addressing and overcoming these challenges for our common benefit.”
The Prime Minister said that India regarded the Kyrgyz Republic as a valuable partner in the common pursuit of making Central Asia a region of sustainable peace, stability and prosperity.
Stating that the two sides also discussed cooperation in the defence sector, he said: “The Kyrgyz-India Mountain Bio-Medical Research Centre is an excellent example of successful collaboration. It has proved to be a rewarding research initiative, which we need to build on.”
Modi also said that the two sides have started work on a Kyrgyz-India Joint Military Training Centre in the Kyrgyz Republic.
He also stressed on bilateral economic cooperation saying that he and President Atambaev have agreed on the need to connect our economies more deeply.
“To this end, we will work to strengthen bilateral trade and economic linkages, and facilitate greater people-to-people exchanges,” the Prime Minister said.
“We will encourage industry and business on both sides to play a leading role in exploiting opportunities in healthcare, tourism, information technology, agriculture, mining and energy.”
Stating that people have been at the centre of such initiatives, Modi said: “We shall give special emphasis to youth exchanges in our technical and economic cooperation programme with Kyrgyz Republic. The understandings concluded today will support our thrust in these directions.”
On his part, President Atambayev thanked Modi for taking up the initiative to set up a Kyrgyz-India fund to encourage businessmen on both sides.
He stressed on expansion of trade between the two sides stating that “we are not happy with what we have today”.
Atambayev also called for cooperation in high technology sector with inputs from Indian experts.
In a joint statement, Modi and Atambayev stressed the importance of deepening cooperation between the two countries in the international arena and called for measures to tackle challenges posed by terrorism and extremism in the world.
“The current level of trade and investment relations between India and Kyrgyzstan is below the potential available and the countries directed their respective ministries and departments to develop a comprehensive roadmap in this area for a five-year time frame,” the statement said.
The countries also agreed to explore new mechanisms to further strengthen mutual economic ties.
The two leaders instructed that work be undertaken on the liberalisation of visa procedures, to create the most favourable conditions to enhance cooperation in diverse areas including science and technology, trade and economy as well as education and culture.
The leaders noted the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism both to Asia and the world and called for the adoption by the United Nations of the draft Comprehensive Convention on Combating International Terrorism.
Following Tuesday’s talks, the two sides signed six agreements, including on cooperation in the fields of youth affairs, tourism, agriculture, broadcasting and sharing of audio-visual content.
Separately, the two sides also initialled a bilateral investment treaty to promote greater economic engagement, according to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
Earlier in the day, President Atambayev was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
The Kyrgyz leader arrived here on Sunday on a four-day official visit to India.