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India to celebrate 72nd Republic Day

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India to celebrate 72nd Republic Day

India to celebrate 72nd Republic Day Photo: IANS

India will celebrate its 72nd Republic Day today without the appearance of Central Asian foreign dignitaries.

Sources claim the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan agreed to attend the celebration of the Constitution of India in December. However, Indian authorities decided to cancel the designated chief guests’ attendance to minimize risk from COVID-19. Following three successful India-Central Asia Dialogue conferences in 2021, the first official India-Central Asian Summit was also originally scheduled to be held in person during the leaders’ visits.

Instead, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that President Narendra Modi will meet virtually next week with the Central Asian leaders. Building on last year’s smaller meetings, next week’s summit will be aimed at formalizing relations through the establishment of a secretariat in Delhi.

Expect the first India-Central Asia Summit to stress the necessity of cooperation across multiple sectors, including tourism and regional security in regards to the Sino-Indian border standoff and rising border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan. While joint action is unlikely, expect India to ramp up its political and economic ties in the region to avoid losing regional influence in 2022 given Russian intervention in Kazakhstan and Chinese regional investments.

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