His Excellency President Rahmon,
Members of the media,
Let me start by expressing my deep appreciation and gratitude to President Rahmon and the people of Tajikistan for the warm welcome and hospitality.
I am delighted to visit Tajikistan. It is a beautiful country. This is the last stop on my visit to the five Central Asian countries. But, we sometimes save the special one for the last.
We share deep historical, cultural and civilizational links. Tajikistan is nearest to India among all Central Asian countries. We are separated by a narrow corridor. Our linguistic links are the closest in Central Asia.
Today, we have formed a deep bond on the basis of our shared aspirations for security and prosperity for our people, and peace and stability in our region.
It is a great pleasure to meet President Rahmon. We met briefly in Ufa. His personal commitment and leadership is a source of great strength for our relationship.
We discussed measures to tap the rich potential in trade and commerce and to encourage joint ventures and investments. We have tasked our Joint Commission to meet soon and finalise a concrete roadmap to expand our trade and economic ties.
Agriculture is important to both our economies. I am delighted that President Rahmon and I will address a Workshop on advancing our cooperation in agriculture later today.
Connectivity is vital for realizing the full potential of trade and commerce between our countries.
We agreed to promote the International North South Transport Corridor. Other connectivity initiatives such as our planned investment in Chahbahar Port in Iran and intention to join the Ashgabat agreement will help.
But, I also hope that we can establish a direct link to India that would promote prosperity across the region.
We agreed to further strengthen our defence cooperation. It is a strong pillar of our strategic partnership.
We are both located in the proximity of the main source of terrorism. Combating terrorism and extremism has always been an important and productive area of cooperation. At a time of growing threat of terrorism, we have resolved to intensify our cooperation further.
India and Tajikistan will also continue to support the aspirations of the Afghan people for a peaceful, stable and prosperous nation.
We will work closely in international forums, including the United Nations, where we already support each other’s initiatives. I conveyed appreciation for Tajikistan's continued support for India's candidature for permanent membership of a reformed UN Security Council.
India's membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation adds a new dimension to our partnership.
We are deeply grateful for the decision of the Government of Tajikistan and the authorities of Dushanbe to install a bust of Rabindranath Tagore in the city.
It highlights the cultural and spiritual links between our two nations. The popularity of Tagore’s poetry in Tajikistan, is mirrored in the continued admiration of Bedil’s poetry in India. This is our shared heritage, of which we can truly be proud.
I am delighted to release today the Hindi translation of Babujon Gaffurov’s masterwork on Tajik history. This would enable a much broader understanding of Tajik culture and history in India.
Finally, I thank President Rahmon and Tajikistan for the support in making the International Day of Yoga on June 21st a huge global success.
I wish to thank President Rahmon once again for the warmth of his welcome, which reflects the love and affection that the people of Tajikistan have for the people of India. This is a sentiment shared fully by the people of India.
I have extended an invitation to President Rahmon to visit India at an early date and look forward to receiving him in Delhi.
Thank you very much.