Dushanbe, Apr. 15 (ANI): Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Monday said he had emphasized India's commitment to the strategic partnership between New Delhi and Dushanbe, and discussed cooperation on security issues as well as in countering cross-border terrorism with Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon.
"In our talks, I emphasized India's commitment to our strategic partnership. We have agreed to strengthen our relations further in the energy sector, IT, health, education and in the establishment of small and micro industries in Tajikistan. We discussed cooperation on security issues as well as in countering cross-border terrorism," said Vice President Ansari in his statement at the joint press event with Tajikistan President.
" I also apprised His Excellency the President, of India's drive to expand its relationship with the countries of Central Asia through a 'Connect Central Asia' Policy. I am happy to state that both, His Excellency President Rahmon and I agree that our cooperation has greater potential and we should work to realize it," he added.
Vice President Ansari said that he had a very productive meeting on a one-to-one basis with President Rahmon followed by very constructive delegation level talks.
"Our talks focused on further strengthening the already close relations between our two brotherly countries. Our relations are not of today; they go back, even before the first millennium A.D. These ties have been strengthened in recent years and I have no doubt that they will be further strengthened in times to come," he added.
Vice President Ansari said that he also apprised President Rahmon of the progress in various areas of cooperation that was agreed to, during his extremely successful visit to India in September 2012.
"My visit carries that dialogue further. We discussed different ways to strengthen the strategic partnership, which was declared during the President's visit to our country. We have agreed to focus on our common approaches and work towards the welfare of both our peoples," he added.
Vice President Ansari said that he and the Tajikistan President discussed regional security issues.
" We exchanged views on how to cooperate in maintaining regional peace and security. In this, the situation in Afghanistan is of prime importance. Both the President and I agree that nations in the region, as well as the international community, should strengthen Afghanistan's capacity to maintain peace, stability and prosperity of the Afghan peoples," Vice President Ansari said
" We also discussed the international political situation and agreed to strengthen our cooperation in multilateral organizations," he added.
Vice President Ansari said India and Tajikistan share deep historical bonds, which have been invigorated through exchanges at all levels.
"I take this opportunity to thank you Mr. President and to convey to the people of Tajikistan our best wishes of peace, stability and prosperity under your prudent leadership," he added.
Vice President Ansari congratulated the Republic of Tajikistan on its becoming the 159th member of the World Trade Organization.
"We welcome Tajikistan's entry into this premier trade organization and will work with Tajikistan within the Organization to our mutual benefit. The deeper integration of Tajikistan with the global economy will not only benefit your country but would also enhance our bilateral trade and economic cooperation," he said.
Vice President Ansari said that he looks forward to visiting the Nurek Hydroelectric station as well as the Tajik Technical University.
"I will be meeting with the Chairman of the Majlisi Namoyandagon along with Members of Parliament from India who have accompanied me. India and Tajikistan share common secular and democratic credentials and we have much to discuss between our Parliaments," he added.
Vice President Ansari also thanked President Rahmon and the Government and people of Tajikistan for the warmth and hospitality accorded to him and the Indian delegation during this visit.
"We are truly at home here," he said. (ANI)