India and Turkmenistan on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding on the issue of financial intelligence even as the two sides discussed the TAPI pipeline for energy security and shared a broad regional consensus on the Afghanistan issue.
"The MoU between the Financial Intelligence Unit of India and Financial Monitoring Service of Turkmenistan signed today would strengthen the framework of economic cooperation between the two countries," President Ram Nath Kovind said in his statement during the Turkmenistan visit. President Kovind is on a state visit to Turkmenistan, the first ever for an Indian President.
It has been 30 years since Turkmenistan was established and this year also marks three decades of diplomatic relations between India and Turkmenistan.
Stating that connectivity is critical for any trading arrangement, President Kovind said: "Towards this end, we highlighted the significance of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor. I pointed out that the Chabahar port built by India in Iran could be used to improve trade between India and Central Asia."
The President's statement came after his meeting with the President of Turkmenistan, wherein they held a detailed discussion on the state and prospects of bilateral relations; exchanged views on various regional and international issues of importance and agreed to intensify efforts to further strengthen the multifaceted partnership between the two countries, a communique from the President's Secretariat said.
The President also drew attention to another key area of discussion about the cooperation in energy as he said: "On the TAPI pipeline, I suggested that issues related to the security of the pipeline and key business principles may be addressed in Technical and Expert level meetings."
The two nations also signed an MoU for cooperation in Disaster Management; India conveyed readiness to partner with Turkmenistan in its drive towards digitalisation and the President also suggested that space can be another area of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Commenting on Afghanistan - India and Turkmenistan are both immediate neighbours of Afghanistan - the President said: "We share a broad 'regional consensus' on the issues related to Afghanistan, which includes the formation of a truly representative and inclusive government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, the central role of the UN, providing immediate humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan and preserving the rights of women, children and other national ethnic groups and minorities."
President Kovind also welcomed Turkmenistan's readiness to send a youth delegation to India within the ambit of India-Central Asia cultural cooperation. "The MoU on Youth Affairs signed today would further intensify exchanges between our youth," he said.