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Krishna heads for strategic mission to Tajikistan

By Sheela Bhatt
July 02, 2012 13:58 IST
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External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is on Monday leaving on a two-day visit to Tajikistan, one of the most important Central Asian countries.

During the visit, the foreign minister is expected to hold comprehensive discussions with his Tajik counterpart Hamrokhon Zarifi and the Tajikistan leadership on India-Tajik bilateral relations and on the situation in the region. 

Krishna's official visit to Dushnabe is being seen as part of attempts by New Delhi to re-engage the strategically-located Central Asian country, which shares borders with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China.

The Tajikistan media has been focussing on three major aspects of Krishna's visit:

1) Considering the geo-political importance of the country and its strategic location, India is eyeing greater political, economic and people-to-people engagement.

2) New Delhi is keen on engaging Tajikistan in the areas of counter-terrorism and defence cooperation.

3) India is also looking to expand bilateral economic ties, especially with regard to energy.

One of the major issues that have dogged relations between the two nations has been the lack of communication.

Indicating its intention to overcome the barrier, India has decided to operate around 14 flights between New Delhi and Dushanbe.

During his stay in Dushanbe, Krishna will address a regional conference of Indian Ambassadors in the Eurasian Region and this includes Indian envoys to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

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Sheela Bhatt