What Happened: Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will travel to Uzbekistan on Jan. 12 to attend the first India-Central Asia Dialogue alongside various representatives from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, The Economic Times reported Jan. 8.
Why It Matters: The meeting provides India with a platform to explore expanding its ties to Central Asia, where its geopolitical rival, China, has already established a strong presence.
Background: India maintains bilateral engagements with individual Central Asian states in hopes of expanding ties. New Delhi is also part of the International North-South Transport Corridor, a 7,200-kilometer (4,474 mile) network of roads, railways and shipping routes connecting countries from South and Central Asia with Europe.
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