National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday said that India accords the highest priority to Central Asia as peace in the region is in the interest of New Delhi, PTI reported.

“India stands ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in the region,” Doval said. “While expanding connectivity it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are transparent and participatory, with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.”

He made the remarks during the first India-Central Asia meeting of national security advisors in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by representatives of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Doval also called upon the members of the United Nations to refrain from providing support to entities or persons involved in acts of terrorism.

He also added that the security situation in Afghanistan was an important issue for the participating countries, reported PTI.

“India’s objectives with regard to immediate priorities in Afghanistan are similar to those of many of us,” he said. “The existence of terrorist networks in the region, including in Afghanistan, is a matter of deep concern.”

A joint communique, issued at the end of the meeting, said the countries present had concerns about the “current deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Afghanistan, reported The Hindu.