Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived in Uzbekistan on the first leg of a five-nation tour of Central Asia, as part of the new Indian government's resolve to start a new era in the nation's relations with Central Asian republics.
Modi who received a warm welcome on his arrival at Tashkent, held discussions with President Islam Karimov at the Kuksaroy presidential complex.
''Today, I have embarked on a five-nation tour of Central Asia. It reflects our resolve to start a new era in our relations with Central Asian Republics.
''Our relationship with the region has ancient roots and has left a strong imprint on both. It now occupies a significant place in India's future.
''I have begun my journey in Uzbekistan. This underlines this nation's importance for India, not just in the context of this region, but also more broadly in Asia, '' Modi said after talks with Karimov.
India and Uzbekistan have built a strategic partnership on the foundation of mutual respect and shared interests, he said, adding that the cooperation extends beyond economic to combating terrorism, advancing stability in the region and promoting regional integration.
Earlier, Modi was welcomed at the airport by Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev.
Modi held talks with the Uzbek prime minister at the airport.
"The meetings begin instantly... PM @narendramodi meets PM Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev after landing at Tashkent," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
Modi tweeted: "Hello Uzbekistan! I thank PM Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev for the warm welcome in Tashkent. Wonderful being here."
Uzbekistan is the first leg of Modi's eight-day tour to Central Asia and Ufa in Russia.