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Opening Remarks by External Affairs Minister at his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan

December 18, 2021

Let me say, I am delighted to welcome you to India. As you know I was in Dushanbe three times this year, in March, in July, in September. So I am very happy that I have now an opportunity to host you.

During my last visit, I had the privilege of calling on H.E. President Rahmon and his guidance has been very useful in identifying and implementing our bilateral cooperation, the various steps in it, and you, of course, know full well how much attention Prime Minister Modi has also given this relationship personally.

It’s been actually a matter of satisfaction, despite the Covid, that we have still managed to meet regularly.

Today, as I welcome you, let me congratulate you on the 30th anniversary of the independence of Tajikistan and I would also like to convey our appreciation of the organization of the SCO Council of Heads of State Summit in its 20th anniversary year again despite all the problems of the Covid.

But if we look at next year, 2022, I think this is a very special year for our relationship. It will be 30 years of our diplomatic ties. It’s also, we will be celebrating 75 years of India’s independence.

And when we look back at these 30 years, our bilateral cooperation has progressed very well and we are looking at new areas of cooperation. We have begun a very important development partnership.

Our support for each other during Covid, I think was very good. We were happy to provide ‘Made in India’ vaccines and certainly now we look forward to easier travel between India and Tajikistan through recognition of our vaccine certificates.

We’ve also, of course as neighbours of Afghanistan, we have been very concerned at the developments there. And the participation of the Secretary of your Security Council in the Regional Security Dialogue, which we hosted in November, is something which is deeply appreciated.

I would also like to publicly thank you for the tremendous support that you gave us during the evacuation of Indians from Afghanistan in August and September, both Indians as well as some members of the Afghan minority community.

So, overall I think we meet at a time when our relations are very good bilaterally; where we are cooperating regionally; where we work closely in the UN and in the SCO.

I thank you for your decision to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, which is part of Prime Minister Modi’s vision and once again I welcome you to India.

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