External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar, who recently wrapped up his four-day visit to Maritime neighbours Maldives and Mauritius, met Uzbekistan's Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov on Thursday. Kamilov is presently on an India visit and EAM met with the leader on the second day. Earlier the official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs had said that ‘Kamilov will be meeting Jaishankar at the Hyderabad House at 10:55 AM’ on February 25. The Uzbekistan Foreign Minister will be leaving for Tashkent at 4 PM later today.
Following the meet, EAM said on Twitter that both discussed India-Uzbekistan bilateral relations including all spheres such as defence, connectivity, trade & culture. Jaishankar and Kamilov also exchanged their views on the situation in the war-torn country, Afghanistan and mutually agreed to elevate their multilateral cooperation.
Happy to welcome my distinguished colleague FM Abdulaziz Kamilov of Uzbekistan. Discussed our bilateral relations, incl in development, defence, connectivity, trade & culture. Also exchanged views on the Afghanistan situation. Agreed to strengthen our multilateral cooperation. pic.twitter.com/JTrARt3I18— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 25, 2021
The India-Uzbekistan relations go way back in time. India had close interaction with the Uzbek SSR during Soviet times. Indian leaders often visited Tashkent and other places. Prime Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri passed away in Tashkent on 11 July 1966 after signing the Tashkent declaration with Pakistan. MEA also said, "Consulate General of India in Tashkent was formally inaugurated on 7th April 1987. Following Uzbekistan’s independence, it was upgraded to the level of Embassy through the signing of a Protocol on Diplomatic and Consular matters on 18th March 1992."
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday had offered prayers at the holy Ganga Talao in Mauritius on the second day of his visit. S Jaishankar was on a two-day visit to the African nation, 'felt like a homecoming' after watching Indian tradition and culture alive in Mauritius. External Affairs Minister also visited the 'World Hindi Secretariat' situated in the African country. One of the significant outcomes of EAM's visit to Mauritius is the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed on Monday.
Prior to that, Jaishankar also met with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday. The EAM conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s greetings to Solih and reiterated India’s “fullest commitment” as development partners during the COVID-19 pandemic “and beyond”.
Since the beginning of his visit to South Asian country, the EAM has witnessed “the exchange of agreements on a wide range of domains” that India-Maldives are working on jointly, accompanied the Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and Foreign Minister along with Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof at Ekuveni Stadium, inaugurated Hulhumalé Central Park and the Westside Arrival Jetty with Maldivian FM, had “productive discussions” with South Asian country’s Economic Ministers and witnessed the signing of project execution contract for construction of roads in Addu.