3000 troops from member States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will stage a joint counter-terrorism military exercise in Chelyabinsk, in west-central region of Russia, on 22nd-29th August, 2018. Contingents from all eight SCO member countries including India and Pakistan will participate in the exercise. India has selected 200 soldiers mainly from the 5 Rajput Regiment of the Indian Army and airmen of the Indian Air Force to participate in these exercises. Indian troops will use equipment of Russian defence forces. This will be the first joint military exercises between Indian and Pakistani troops, although soldiers from the two countries have worked together in third countries for over 60 years in peacekeeping operations under the United Nations.

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) of Uzbekistan visited India to participate in Annual meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). He also held several bilateral meetings. Entire gamut of bilateral relations was reviewed in his meeting with EAM Sushma Swaraj. Both sides underscored the untapped potential in strengthening bilateral cooperation in diverse fields including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textiles, construction, Information and Communication Technologies, innovation, tourism, and agreed to further strengthen this partnership through regular consultations and organisation of business-to-business interactions on focused areas of mutual interest. DPM met with Ministers of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Science and Technology, MOS of Commerce and Industry, Chemicals and Fertilizers, and External Affairs.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation attended high-level Conference on Water in Dushanbe. He described Tajikistan as a strategic partner in India’s neighbourhood, having a leading role in pioneering global water related issues. During his visit, he met the Foreign Minister of Tajikistan and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral cooperation. Gadkari briefed the Tajik FM on current status of development of Chabahar port project. Both countries agreed to enhance economic cooperation, particularly in sustainable water development. Gadkari inaugurated the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre in Embassy of India.

Mayor of Pune joined mayors from several cities across the world to attend a two-day international '’Global Silk Road’' forum in Astana to mark the fifth anniversary of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and 20th anniversary of establishment of Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.

Several Indian companies including Indian Space Research Organization (Antrix), BrahMos Aerospace, Zen Technologies Ltd, Larsen & Toubro Ltd and ELCOM Innovations Pvt. Ltd participated in the 5th International Exhibition of Weapons Systems and Military Equipment in Astana, Kazakhstan. 318 enterprises from 28 countries showcased the latest advances in military-industrial sector and space industry in the 4-day exhibition.

A 14-member delegation consisting of two officers and 12 cadets of National Cadet Corps (NCC) of India visited Kazakhstan under the Youth Exchange Programme between NCC and Voenni Kafedra of Kazakhstan. Cadets interacted and shared their experience with cadets of Voenni Kafedra of South Kazakhstan State Pharmaceutical Academy, Shymkent, and Taraz State University, Taraz.

Number of Indian tourists visiting Kazakhstan showed a sharp rise of 68% in the first three months of 2018 as compared to corresponding period last year.

CII organised an interaction in New Delhi between Ambassadors of India to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan with the Indian business community. Discussions on expanding cooperation in trade and investment with a wide cross-section of Indian business were held. Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar chaired the meeting.

Embassy of Kazakhstan in India organized a Reception to mark the 20th anniversary of establishment of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The contribution of Kazakh capital in strengthening international peace and security was highlighted.

 

July 18, 2018 

About the Author

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar belongs to the Indian Foreign Service and has acquitted his responsibilities in the diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and in negotiations for India-EU, India-ASEAN and India-Thailand Free Trade Agreements.

He contributed significantly to strengthening strategic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries.Ambassador Sajjanhar worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. Ambassador Sajjanhar has been decorated by Governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely on TV panel discussions. Ambassador Sajjanhar is interested in reading, music and travelling. His wife Madhu is an economist and an educationist. They have a son and a daughter both of who are accomplished singers. Their son passed out of Yale University and their daughter is pursuing her PhD at University of Minnesota.