The five central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, have been invited by India as the chief guest for Republic Day celebrations, 2022. This is for the first time representatives of all five Central Asian countries would be present as guests. The last time they attended an event together was in 2018 during ASEAN Summit.
According to reports from multiple sources have confirmed that around three weeks ago, formal communication took place between India and the five central Asian countries. India shares cultural, civilisational and historical linkage to these countries, and their presence at the Republic Day celebrations would strengthen the relationship between the two sides.
Since PM Modi took charge in 2014, India had invited then-US President Barack Obama in 2015, then-French President Francois Hollande in 2016, UAE’s Md Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2017, all 10 ASEAN countries in 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa in 2019 and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil in 2020 for Republic Day. In 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to attend Republic Day celebrations, but he couldn’t due to Covid.
India is also hosting the Central Asian, India Foreign Minister’s meet on December 18 and 19, the third of its kind. The first meeting was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in January 2019, where former External Affairs Minister Late Sushma Swaraj represented India. The second meeting was held virtually amidst Covid restrictions.