Need to fight terrorism, religious extremism: Hamid Ansari

Vice President Hamid Ansari termed terrorism and religious extremism as common challenges facing India and Uzbekistan.

Updated: May 22, 2013, 21:59 PM IST

Tashkent: Terming terrorism and religious extremism as common challenges facing India and Uzbekistan, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday said the two countries need to work together to promote stability in the region and the world.

The Vice President, who is in Uzbekistan on a four-day visit, also said Parliaments of the two countries have an important role in nation building and stressed for greater engagement between the two institutions.

Addressing a banquet hosted in his honour by Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan (Upper House), I Sobirov, Ansari said as Uzbekistan is one of India`s closest friends, "it is important that we join hands to increase the intensity of our bilateral economic cooperation to match the already close level of political understanding and people-to-people affinity".

Referring to regional and international issues, he said the two countries face common challenges from terrorism and religious extremism. "We, therefore, need to work closely towards promoting peace and stability not just in our common region, but in the entire world".

Underlining the age-old relations between the two countries, Ansari said trade and traders led the way even as a parallel stream manifested itself in the flow of ideas, knowledge and scholars.

"In one age Buddhism became the dominant instrument of discourse, in another Islamic learning and Sufism led the way and left an indelible imprint," he said.

Earlier in the day, Ansari laid wreath at the Monument of Independence and Humanism. Later, he visited the Senate building nearby and interacted with Sobirov and other officials.

The Vice President also visited the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan (the Lower House) and interacted with Speaker D Tashmukhamedokva and discussed issues of mutual importance.