External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will undertake a four-day visit to three Central Asian nations on Thursday, reflecting India's pursuit of enhanced engagement with the region.
Swaraj will be in Kazakhstan on August and 2-3, in the Kyrgyzstan on August 30-4 and Uzbekistan from August 4-5, a statement said.
During her visit to Astana, Swaraj will hold a bilateral meeting with her Kazakh counterpart Kairat Abdrakhmanov. She will call on the leadership of the country and interact with Indian community in Kazakhstan, it said.
India and Kazakhstan have a close strategic partnership and multi-faceted relations. The central Asian country is one of the nations from whom India imports uranium for powering its atomic reactors.
The bilateral relations between India and Kazakhstan got fillip by the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan in 2015 and by his visit for SCO Summit in June 2017 when he had a productive meeting with the president of Kazakhstan, the statement said.
There have also been meetings between the leaders on the margins of SCO and Nuclear Security Summits keeping up the momentum in the growth of bilateral relations.
The next leg of the visit would take Swaraj to Kyrgyzstan where she would interact with Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyzstan. She will also call on the leadership of the Kyrgyzstan, the statement said.
India and Kyrgyzstan share multi-dimensional relations including political, parliamentary, defence, science and technology and health.
Modi's visit to the Kyrgyz Republic in July 2015 and of the then president of the Kyrgyz Republic to India in December 2016, as also interactions on the margins of SCO Summits, have consolidated the traditionally cordial and close ties between the two countries, providing impetus to further strengthening of bilateral ties, it added.
Swaraj had earlier interacted with Foreign Minister Abdyldaev on a number of occasions including on the margins of United Nations General Assembly.
In the last segment of her three nation Central Asian tour, Swaraj would arrive in Tashkent on August 4.
She would hold in-depth discussions with Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs. She will also call on the leadership of Uzbekistan, it said.
Her visit will include interaction with indologists and members of the Indian community. She will also offer floral tributes at the memorial of former prime minister late Lal Bahadur Shastri.
India and Uzbekistan enjoy a close strategic partnership.
Bilateral relations between India and Uzbekistan have been strengthened by regular high level interactions. Modi visited Uzbekistan in July 2015 and for SCO Summit in June 2016. Recently, Swaraj had received Foreign Minister Kamilov for bilateral visits in 2017 and 2018 and also met him on the margins of SCO in April.
Swaraj's visit to the three central Asian countries is her first visit to these countries as External Affairs Minister.
"The visit is in pursuit of India's objective of enhanced engagement with this region which is India's extended neighbourhood. It will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions with the political leadership on a wide range of global, regional and bilateral issues and will advance India's growing engagement with the Central Asian region," the statement added.
(With PTI inputs)