Tashkent Current Affairs - 2019

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India, Uzbekistan sign MoUs in fields of Military Medicine and Military Education

India and Uzbekistan signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU), for enhancing bilateral cooperation in fields of Military Medicine and Military Education between the Armed Forces of the two countries. The MoUs were signed during the three-day visit by Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh to Tashkent (Uzbekistan capital) from 1-3 November 2019. This was the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Uzbekistan in nearly 15 years.

Key Highlights of Meet

During the meeting, bilateral consultations were held between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov.

The MoU inked after the meet were the byproduct of interactions emanating from MoU on Military Education signed between India and Uzbekistan in October 2018.Two Institution-to-Institution MoUs on training and capacity building between institutes of higher military learning of India and Uzbekistan were also signed.

Two defence ministers also witnessed the first-ever exchange over a video-link between College of Defence Management in Secunderabad, Telangana and Armed Forces Academy of Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

Both defence ministers also presided over the opening of first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise called- Dustlik-2019, that will be held from 4-13 November 2019 at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent.

India- Uzbekistan Relation

Earlier in September 2018, after the visit of then Defence Minister of Uzbekistan to India, both sides (India and Uzbekistan) expressed satisfaction at the enhanced level of defence engagements. This enhanced level of engagement is reflected in the first-ever meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Defence Cooperation (in February 2019), visit of Defence Secretary of India to Uzbekistan (in March 2019) and the first-ever Defence-Industry Workshop organised in Tashkent (in September 2019).

India has also offered a concessional line of credit of $40 million US for the procurement of goods and services by Uzbekistan from India. The direct exchange in relation to training, capacity building and education between Armed Forces on both sides has also witnessed significant growth.

India and Uzbekistan would continue to work together to further raise their level of engagement in defence sphere in keeping with strategic partnership between two countries. This would be based on higher level of mutual trust and respect between two countries as well as on their shared views and approaches on a range of regional and international issues which includes promoting regional stability and security and combatting extremism and terrorism.

Defence Minister: attends SCO meeting; signs Bilateral Engagement with Uzbekistan

Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh is to attend key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He will also participate in bilateral engagements with the Uzbekistan Government.

The Minister is to represent India in the meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of SCO at Tashkent. The Council meets to discuss on multilateral economic cooperation in the SCO region.

Highlights of the visit

  • The Minister will sign bilateral agreements and hold a meeting with his Uzbekistan Counterpart. It is to be noted that the first ever India-Uzbekistan bilateral military exercise “Dostlik 2019” is to begin between November 4 and November 13, 2019.
  • The meeting is the third CHG meeting that is being attended by India after it became a member of SCO. The last two meeting were held in 2017 at Sochi, Russia and in 2018 at Dushanbe in Tajikistan.

Council of Heads of Government

The CHG is the second highest decision-making body in the SCO. The Indian representative of the CHG is PM Modi.

The Council of Heads of the State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. It meets during the SCO summits that are held once in a year. President Ram Nath Kovind represents India at the Council.