First of all, I wish to congratulate you for entering your 5th year of office on 14th December.
I was looking forward to visit Uzbekistan this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic my visit could not materialize, but I am happy that in this era of "Work From Anywhere" we are meeting virtually today.
India and Uzbekistan are two historic civilizations. We have been maintaining regular contacts since ancient times.
There is immense resemblance in our understanding and approach to the challenges and opportunities of our region. And thus our bonding has always been strong.
During your visits to India in 2018 and 2019, we had the opportunity to discuss many issues, which gave new momentum to our relations.
We have similar concerns about extremism, fundamentalism and separatism. We both stand firmly together against terrorism. We also have an identical approach on regional security issues.
We both agree that the Afghan peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. It is essential that the gains of the last two decades are preserved.
India and Uzbekistan together took the initiative of India-Central Asia Dialogue which commenced its journey from Samarkand last year.
Over the last few years our economic partnership has also strengthened.
We also want to further intensify our development partnership with Uzbekistan.
I am glad to know that many projects are being considered under the Indian Line of Credit.
We are ready to share India's expertise and experience in compliance with your development priorities.
India has immense potential in areas such as infrastructure, IT, education, health, training and capacity building, which can be of much use to Uzbekistan. The establishment of a Joint Working Group on Agriculture between our two countries is a notable and positive step. This shall facilitate opportunities to expand our mutual agricultural trade helping the farming community of both the countries.
Our security partnership is becoming a strong pillar of bilateral relations.
Last year our armed forces had their first joint military exercise. We are jointly moving ahead in the areas of space and atomic energy too.
It is also a matter of satisfaction that during this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, both countries have fully supported each other. Whether it’s related to supply of medicines or safe repatriation of each other's citizens.
Cooperation among our States is also increasing. Cooperation between Haryana and Fargana is now being outlined based on the successful model of Gujarat and the Andijan.
Uzbekistan is undergoing significant reforms under your able leadership and in India too we are moving ahead on the path of reforms.
This will expand the possibilities of mutual cooperation between us in the post-COVID era.
I am sure that our discussion today will provide new direction and energy to this effort.
Now it is my honor to invite you for your Opening Remarks.