His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN)and Spiritual Leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, yesterday met in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Citing the Russian foreign ministry’s website, media outlets reported that His Highness the Aga Khan noted during the meeting with Sergei Lavrov that “Our cooperation is extremely important not only for my community but for the whole Central Asia.  Right now we are creating joint institutions that will be of great significance for what is going on in the whole Central Asia.”

For his part, Russian foreign minister noted the significance of opinion of the Spiritual Leader of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims “not only on Afghan problems but also on many problems of the present time.” 

His Highness the Aga Khan, the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), is the 49th hereditary Imam (Spiritual Leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims. For His Highness the Aga Khan, one manifestation of his hereditary responsibilities has been a deep engagement with development for almost 60 years.

The Ismailis constitute the second largest Shia community after the Twelvers in the Muslim world and are now scattered in more than twenty countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and America.

Founded and guided by His Highness the Aga Khan, the Aga Khan Development Network brings together individual agencies that operate in a range of areas – from economic development, education and rural development to cultural revitalization, health care and financial services.  Together these agencies collaborate towards a common goal – to build institutions and programs that can respond to the contemporary challenges and opportunities of social, economic and cultural growth in Tajikistan.

Operating in Tajikistan since 1992, AKDN draws on a strong base of experience in working with mountain societies.  It works in all regions of the country and employs over 3,500 people through its operations and investments.