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Connectivity key aspect of India-Turkmenistan ties: Modi

By The Assam Tribune

Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), July 11 (IANS): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that connectivity is a key aspect of the relationship between India and the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan.

�Connectivity is an area of priority for both countries,� Modi said after holding talks with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

�If we use the Iran route Ashgabat is the first capital we would reach in Central Asia,� he said.

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to Turkmenistan for its support to India joining the Ashgabat agreement on trade and transit and proposed that the Central Asian nation become a member of the International North South Transport Corridor.

�Together with Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link, and India's proposed investment in Chahbahar Port (in Iran), these initiatives will strengthen connectivity between our two countries,� he said.

Modi said India and Turkmenistan have a "common purpose" in combating terrorism, and also emphasised on enhancing economic ties.

The visiting Indian prime minister referred to the "deep rooted civilisation ties" with the central Asian nation.

"Our long standing and deep rooted civilisation ties are well known. As India deepens its relations with Central Asia, Turkmenistan will play an essential part," Modi said.

"We have common purpose in combating terrorism and extremism in our regions," he said.

Talking about enhancing economic ties, Modi said: "We had a good discussion on India's investment in downstream industries... I also proposed that Turkmenistan becomes a member of the International North South Transport Corridor."

Modi added that he was looking forward to President Berdimuhamedow's visit to India.

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