India and Tajikistan on Monday exchanged views on regional and global security situation, including Afghanistan, during an unscheduled meeting between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and his Tajik counterpart, Colonel General Khayrulloev Sherali Khayrulleovich, in Dushanbe.
Mr. Antony, who was on his way to Moscow for a meeting of the 11th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation, was greeted at the airport by the Tajik Defence Minister.
Defence Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told The Hindu on the phone from Dushanbe that Mr. Antony had a pleasant surprise in store when his special aircraft landed in Tajikistan for a brief technical halt.
“The Tajikistan Defence Minister chose to miss the ongoing Parliament session to call on Mr. Antony at the airport, rolling out the red-carpet and offering the traditional bread and honey welcome,” Mr. Kar said.
The gesture was seen as a measure of warmth in the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The two Defence Ministers had a working lunch, during which they discussed issues of mutual interest.
The Tajikistan Defence Minister saw Mr. Antony and his delegation off as they resumed their journey after extending invitation to spend more time on the return leg.