Secretary General of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Ambassador Kairat Sarybay paid a working visit to New Delhi, Republic of India, to hold consultations at the Ministry of External Affairs.
In a meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs of India Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, the parties discussed the outcomes of the Sixth CICA Summit and the leaders' decision to transform the Conference into an international regional organization. In this context, Minister Singh noted the importance of CICA's transition to a new level and expressed readiness to substantively discuss the whole range of forthcoming reforms on the basis of the draft Road Map proposed by the Kazakh Chairmanship.
The Secretary General informed the Minister of State that the document was planned to be endorsed at the upcoming CICA Informal Ministerial Meeting in September this year and extended an invitation to Minister of External Affairs of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to participate in it.
The Minister of State, in turn, underlined the role of the Conference in maintaining peace in Asia and assured of India's continued support to the CICA process and intention to continue making practical contributions to the Organization.
During the visit, the CICA Secretary General met with Secretary (West) of the Ministry of External Affairs of India Sanjay Verma. The parties thoroughly discussed a wide range of relevant CICA-related issues in the context of implementing the decisions of the Sixth Summit. Given that India is the coordinator of the priority area of combatting terrorism, Kairat Sarybay proposed that the country take the lead in carrying out the Plan of Action on the Implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
Moreover, the parties discussed the CICA leaders' statement on ICT security, which echoes one of the themes of the current Indian Chairmanship of the SCO. Special attention was devoted to the development of CICA's external relations and the potential expansion of the forum to some South Asian countries. Sanjay Verma's idea of bringing in the “Asian Spirit” to the CICA platform was of considerable interest.
On the same day, the Secretary General met with Joint Secretary for Disarmament and International Security Affairs of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and Senior Official of India at CICA Muanpuii Saiawi. The meeting discussed at length the Conference's plan of action for the current year, including meetings of the Youth and Business Councils and the Think Tank Forum. The Kazakh Chairmanship's initiatives to further institutionalize the forum, including the CICA Council on Sustainable Connectivity and the Partnership Network of Leading Universities of the CICA Member States, were analyzed.
Kairat Sarybay thanked the Indian Ministry of External Affairs for seconding highly professional diplomats to the Secretariat. Muanpuii Saiawi, for her part, assured that India would continue to interact with the Chairmanship and the Secretariat in a positive, constructive and forward-looking manner.
In a meeting with Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar, India's candidate to the CICA Council of Eminent Persons, the parties had a lively exchange of views on the benefits of regional multilateral formats in promoting peace, cooperation and connectivity in Asia and beyond.
Following the visit, Kairat Sarybay held a briefing for leading Indian media outlets. The Secretary General spoke about CICA’s unique added value in building confidence among the Member States, the greater global importance of Asia and the particular contribution of CICA in promoting synergies with other regional fora, as well as emphasized India’s critical role both within CICA and in the world arena.