NEW DELHI: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on December 6 said India accorded the highest priority to Central Asia as it was “our extended neighbourhood”, and a “peaceful, secure, prosperous” Central Asia was in our common interest.
Doval was addressing his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, at a high-level security meeting in New Delhi.
He strongly pitched for giving greater priority by countries of the region to counter terror financing, saying monetary resources are the “lifeblood” of terrorism.
Doval also said that all UN member states should refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts and fulfill the obligations enshrined in relevant counter-terror conventions. “Afghanistan is an important issue concerning all of us. India’s concerns and objectives with regard to immediate priorities and the way forward are similar to those of many of us around the table,” he said.
Doval said connectivity with Central Asian countries remained a key priority for India and that New Delhi stands ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in the region. “While expanding connectivity, it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory, with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries,” he said in an oblique reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).