New Delhi, Jan 8 (UNI) India today sought cooperation from the Central Asian countries against terrorism and drug trafficking and help in improving the socio-economic condition of the people.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukhejee, in his inaugural address at a four-day international seminar here, said the Central Asian countries and India could unitedly fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and other such evils.
''Our shared ethos and culture make for an ideal platform on which to develop ties that are suited to meeting the modern-day challenges of securing development and combating extremism and terrorism,'' the Minister added.
He said once these scourges were eliminated, the socio-economic condition of the people would improve.
Pointing out the natural convergences between India and these countries in terms of worldview and approach to issues in multilateral fora, Mr Mukherjee said these needed to be strengthened to bring us even closer on contemporary issues of global importance.
''We are keen to contribute actively in economic development programmes, counter-terrorism and anti-narcotics trafficking efforts under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). We are confident that given our historic experience in the flow and exchange of ideas, India's experience will be found useful,'' he said.
The International Seminar and Exhibition titled ''Cities, Roads and Caravan Sarais: An Emblem of Linkages Through the Ages'' is being organised by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and the External Affairs Ministry.
He also said that the 'Silk Route' was more than a normal route.
''It was more important than silk. It was through this route that busniess and Sufism came to India and flourished.'' The Minister also spoke about the Shanghai Cooperation and its diplomatic aspects.
The event, attended by Ambassadors from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan besides scholars and linguists from West and Central Asia, would attempt to bridge the gap between civilisations.
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