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Monday, January 30, 2023

Persistence of terror networks in Afghanistan matter of deep concern: NSA

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New Delhi: Asking Central Asian Countries to call on UN members to refrain from providing any support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, NSA Ajit Doval on Tuesday said that “persistence of terrorist networks in the region including in Afghanistan is a matter of deep concern.”

He was addressing the first India-Central Asia Meeting of National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Security Councils here which was attended by Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan was represented by their Ambassador in New Delhi.

“Afghanistan is an important issue concerning us all. 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. Persistence of terrorist networks in the region including in Afghanistan is also a matter of deep concern,” he said.

“Financing is lifeblood of terrorism and countering terror financing should be an equal priority for all of us,” the NSA added.

Doval asked the Central Asian countries to call on UN members to fulfill obligations enshrined in the relevant counter terrorism convention and protocols and refrain from providing any support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts.

“Your presence is a testimony to our cohesiveness and it will enrich the discussions. Central Asia is our extended neighbourhood. With which we have civilisation linkages and we accord the highest priority to this region,” the NSA said welcoming the participants.

Doval said that the meeting is taking place at a time of great churn and international relations and uncertainty about the future, therefore, he said, “A peaceful, secure and prosperous Central Asia is in our common interest.”

“Today’s meeting therefore assumes importance as it provides us an opportunity to discuss matters which require greater cooperation and coordination among the regional countries,” he added.

Emphasising on connectivity with Central Asian countries, the NSA said that it remains a key priority for India.

We stand ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in the region, he said.

“While expanding connectivity, it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory,” the NSA added.

The meeting flows from the agreement reached during the first India- Central Asia Summit held on January 27 this year, in which amit was agreed that the countries will hold regular meetings of Secretaries of the Security Council to discuss issues of regional security.

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