Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a virtual summit with Uzbekistan, the war-torn country’s northern neighbor, on Friday.

In order to restore peace in Afghanistan, the negotiations with the Taliban must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled, “Both the countries are on the same page when it comes to regional security and we stand strong together against terrorism. The two countries (India and Uzbekistan) have agreed that in order to restore peace in Afghanistan, the negotiations with the Taliban must be Afghan-led and Afghan controlled,” he said at his opening address.

Congratulating President Shavkat Mirziyoyev ahead of the completion of his five years of rule on December 14, PM Modi said that he was looking forward to the Uzbekistan visit this year, which couldn’t take due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was really looking forward to visiting Uzbekistan this year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my journey was not possible hence. But I am happy that with the “work from anywhere” model, we are meeting each other virtually,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the leaders will discuss an entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship, including the strengthening of India-Uzbekistan cooperation in the post-COVID world. They will also exchange views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
PM Modi said India and Uzbekistan are two very rich civilizations.

“The two countries share an old, strong bond. Our views on the current challenges and approach towards them are extremely similar,” he added.
The PMO added India and Uzbekistan have continued to maintain high-level exchanges in the recent past. “The visits of Prime Minister Modi to Uzbekistan in 2015 and 2016 and President Mirziyoyev to India in 2018 and 2019 have imparted a new dynamism to the strategic partnership,” the PMO website read.

It added that several government-to-government agreements are expected to be concluded coinciding with the virtual summit.

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