Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with an eye on boosting energy ties as top priority, embarked for a tour of five Central Asian countries, as well as Russia, where he will attend summits for BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Narendra Modi’s, on his first-leg, will start with Uzbekistan from where he will go to Kazakhstan on July 7. Modi will also meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Russia, on July 10.
“My first visit will be to Uzbekistan, which is the most populous country in Central Asia. India and Uzbekistan enjoy a close strategic partnership,” Modi had said in a statement, adding “I am confident that this visit will be a major step towards further expanding India-Uzbekistan ties.”
Modi will hold talks with President Islam Karimov and both sides would ink key agreements to strengthen cooperation.
“It was in Tashkent that we lost one of our most popular and respected leaders, Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, who ignited our nation with the clarion call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. I will be paying my tributes to this proud son of India during the visit,” Modi said.
“Consequent to India increasing FDI up to 49 per cent in the defence production, its economic relations with Russia are expected to see a dramatic change with the Prime Minister’s visit to the CIS countries giving an extra push to strategic ties with the region,” industry body Assocham said.
Modi will travel to Russia on July 8, before moving to Turkmenistan on July 10, Kyrgyzstan on July 11 and Tajikistan on July 12.