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Counter terrorism on top of Ansari's agenda in Uzbekistan

Counter terrorism on top of Ansari
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Tashkent (PTI): The future of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international forces next year and cooperation in counter-terrorism will be the...

Tashkent (PTI): The future of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international forces next year and cooperation in counter-terrorism will be the highlights of Vice President Hamid Ansari's interaction with Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov here on Wednesday. "We have common strategic interests. They relate principally to what is happening, what might happen in Afghanistan," Ansari told reporters accompanying him on his four-day visit to Uzbekistan. He said since Uzbekistan has a border with Afghanistan, "it will, willingly, unwillingly, end up playing a critical role in what may happen there tomorrow or day after". On the issue of terrorism, the Vice President said the two sides will try to understand how the common struggle against terrorism against all its forms and manifestations is proceeding. "Commonality is the perception that terrorism in any form is unacceptable. It is disruptive of civilised life. Now each country has its own specific strategy because each country faces some aspect of that problem. Exchange of information, exchange of views is always helpful," he said.
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He said the two countries have a joint working group on countering terrorism and that is a work which is in progress. He refused to elaborate on the mandate of the joint group. In reply to a question on the possible sale of uranium to India by the former Soviet republic, Ansari said, "We are working to explore the possibility of uranium supplies coming from Uzbekistan. This is work in progress". Ansari, who reached Tashkent this evening, will also meet Chairman of Senate I Sobirov and Speaker of the lower house D Tashmukhamedova. The visit will give fillip to bilateral relations between the two countries. India and Uzbekistan have a bilateral trade worth US $ 200 million with the balance of trade tilted in favour of New Delhi. At least 15 Indian pharmaceutical companies are represented in Uzbekistan where India is also involved in the IT sector. The Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for IT Excellence there is set to be upgraded in the coming days. India is also setting up a power transmission line which will send Uzbeki power to Afghanistan. Besides Tashkent, Ansari would also visit the historic cities of Samarkand and Bukhara where he will meet the heads of the regions. nvironment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, MPs KN Balagopal, Shivanand Tiwari, Sumitra Mahajan and EMS Natchiappan are accompanying the Vice-President.
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