Wed, 27 Oct 2021

Dushanbe [Tajikistan], September 17 (ANI): Expressing India's commitment to increase connectivity with Central Asia at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the member nations to enhance regional connectivity by respecting the territorial integrity of nations.

Emphasising that trsansparency must exist involving the connectivity projects in the region to build mutual trust, PM Modi said, "Connectivity projects must be consultative, transparent, and participatory to ensure mutual trust. It must respect the territorial integrity of all nations and SCO should form norms for connectivity projects based on these principles."While addressing the Plenary Session of the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State, PM Modi also said that Central Asia has been a connectivity bridge among major regional markets in ancient times and it was the main reason for prosperity in Central Asia.

"We believe that landlocked Central Asian countries can gain benefits by directly entering into the Indian markets. Unfortunatinspiredous connectivity options are not open for them," he stressed.

The SCO is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It's the first SCO Summit being held in a hybrid format and the fourth Summit that India has participated as a full-fledged member of SCO. The meeting is being chaired by Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon.

He also added that India's investment in Iran's Chabahar Port and efforts towards the International North-South Corridor are inspired by these realities.

"Through this, we can re-establish the older connectivity of this region. And then, connectivity projects will strengthen our ties," he stressed.

Prime Minister also asked member nations to tackle extremism in the region. "SCO should develop a shared template to fight radicalism and extremism," he added. (ANI)

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