Following is the text
of the Prime Minister’s statement to the media, after the delegation
level talks during the State Visit of President of Tajikistan:
“I have great pleasure in extending a very warm welcome to His
Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan, on his fifth
State Visit to our country.
Tajikistan will celebrate the 21st anniversary of its independence on
September 9. On this occasion, I wish to convey our best wishes to the
people of Tajikistan and to congratulate President Rahmon on sagaciously
guiding the destiny of his country for the last two decades.
Tajikistan is a key partner of India in the Central Asian region. We
recently commemorated two decades of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between our two countries. President Rahmon and I agreed that
in view of the broad progress made in our bilateral relations,
particularly in defence and security cooperation, we should elevate our
relations to a ‘strategic partnership’.
President Rahmon and I are also in agreement on the need to enhance our
trade and investment relations. I conveyed to President Rahmon our
desire to see an early accession of Tajikistan to the WTO, which would
assist in enhancing our bilateral trade. We also discussed opportunities
for investments in free economic zones in Tajikistan. We hope to send a
delegation from the private and public sectors to explore investment
opportunities in these zones. Information technology, e-connectivity,
pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, textiles, leather goods, mining and
renewable energy are some of the areas with high potential.
To intensify our developmental partnership, India has offered to
undertake a series of development projects in Tajikistan. These include
the setting up of an IT Centre of excellence, an e-network including
tele-education and tele-medicine, medical centres, language
laboratories, a fruit and vegetable processing plant and an
Entrepreneurship Development Institute, as well as supply of
agricultural machinery. We have also decided to enhance the number of
training slots under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation
training programme from 100 to 150 slots annually.
Cultural and people to people ties between our two countries date back
centuries. The agreements signed today in the fields of culture and
education will help renew such contacts.
The resumption of direct air links between New Delhi and Dushanbe by
Tajik Air is a welcome development. However, surface connectivity
challenges hinder the faster growth of our bilateral ties. We agreed to
explore the possibility of establishing transport corridors, including
rail lines, in cooperation with other countries of the region.
India and Tajikistan have common concerns regarding regional
developments. President Rahmon and I exchanged views on the situation in
the Central Asian region and beyond, particularly in the context of the
security transition in Afghanistan. We also agreed to deepen our
I once again welcome President Rahmon to India and now invite him to
make his remarks.”