India: India wants to work towards inclusive Eurasian connectivity

India is expected to advocate for inclusive Eurasian connectivity initiatives during Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to Uzbekistan for the SCO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. India takes over the SCO presidency in 2023 and is pushing for optimal use of the Chabahar port after operationalizing INSTC as a parallel to China’s Belt and Road initiative.

The operationalization of the INSTC has been accelerated in two ways, and India hopes Chabahar will be part of it. India has encouraged Central Asian states, particularly Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, to use the port of Chabahar as a link to the Indian Ocean and beyond.

Iran is expected to be formally admitted as a SCO member at this year’s summit in the historic city of Samarkand. Experts on the Eurasian region pointed out that Iran’s accession will spur India’s attempts at connectivity in resource-rich Eurasia and Russia.

India became a permanent member of the SCO in 2017 and has a strong interest in deepening its security-related cooperation and regional counter-terrorism structure, which deals specifically with security and defense issues. Jaishankar’s participation aims to strengthen Delhi’s ties in the context of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. India attended a conference on Afghanistan hosted by Uzbekistan on Monday and Tuesday. Last month, New Delhi re-established the diplomatic presence in Kabul by dispatching a technical team.