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International relations

India's first Central Asia summit to focus on Afghan risks, trade

Shared security challenges loom over Thursday's talks and port, pipeline hopes

The delayed TAPI gas pipeline promises to link Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, but security risks threaten this and other regional connectivity projects.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to host his country's first summit with five Central Asian states on Thursday, with common security challenges emanating from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan expected to top the agenda alongside trade and energy.

The virtual meeting will include the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. India's Ministry of External Affairs called the summit "a reflection of India's growing engagement with the Central Asian countries, which are a part of India's 'extended neighborhood,'" adding that the "evolving regional security situation" would be a priority.

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