CA-India summit may be held in video format due to COVID-19

CA-India summit may be held in video format due to COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases still on the rise in India 10 days before Republic Day, the government is considering postponing plans to invite the leaders of the five Central Asian countries as chief guests to the parade and host a summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Hindu writes on Sunday.

According to the newspaper, contingency plans and a range of options to reduce the number and route of the Republic Day parade and the number of spectators were discussed at a meeting chaired by Mr. Modi on Saturday.

Five leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have been invited to participate in the summit via videoconference if the pandemic situation does not ease, according to officials involved in planning the January 26 events.

Presidents of the Central Asian countries - Tokayev, Japarov, Rakhmon, Berdimuhamedov and Mirziyoyev - were supposed to take part in the face-to-face India-Central Asia summit with Indian Prime Minister Modi on January 25 in Delhi. The heads of state confirmed their presence at the celebration and summit in December.

Indian officials have said that if the contingency offer goes into effect, the summit will be held as scheduled but via videoconference, as has been on several other occasions since the global pandemic broke out.