President Ram Nath Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind embarked on a three-day visit to Tajikistan on Sunday, October 7. During the visit, President Kovind will meet his Tajik counterpart Emamoli Rahmon. Furthermore, the Speaker of the Parliament Shukurjon Zuhurov, Speaker (Chairman) of the Lower House of Parliament and Prime Minister of Tajikistan Qohir Rasulzoda will call on President Kovind, a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.
Minister of State (MoS) for Defense Subhash Bhamre and Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Shamsher Singh Manhas are also slated to be a part of the President's delegation which is a standalone visit to Tajikistan.
The President will visit the Tajik National University where he will deliver an address on 'Countering Radicalisation: Challenges in Modern Societies'. He will also address the members of the Indian Diaspora in Tajikistan.
In addition, President Kovind will pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore by visiting their memorials in Dushanbe and offering floral tributes. This will be the first visit of President Kovind to Central Asia, the statement added.
"During the visit, all areas of bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation are expected to be discussed. Given the close relationship between the two countries, the visit is expected to lead to further strengthening of Indo-Tajik bilateral relations," the statement said.
India-Tajikistan bilateral relations have steadily grown and diversified in many fields. Since 2012, both countries have elevated their ties to the level of strategic partnership.
There have been several exchanges of visits at the highest level between the two countries. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Tajikistan in 2003, while incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the nation in 2015 as part of his visit to all the five Central Asian countries. The last visit to Tajikistan by President of India was by Pratibha Patil in 2009.
Meanwhile, President Rahmon has visited India five times, his last visit being in December 2016. The leadership of the two countries also frequent meetings on the sidelines of various multilateral platforms. These regular visits at the highest level have cemented the bilateral ties as well as demonstrate the importance the two countries attach to this relationship.