The annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is set to be held on Friday, September 17, in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the Indian delegation virtually at the annual summit.
This is the fourth such summit where India will be participating as a full-fledged member of the SCO, and it assumes a special significance in light of the rapidly evolving situation in the war-torn land of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.
As per several media reports, the ongoing Afghanistan termoil will dominate the agenda of the summit howevere the Prime Minister is unlikely to name Taliban in his statement, in keeping with India’s statements on Afghanistan at UNSC and UNHRC.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar travelled to Dushanbe to represent India at the 21st SCO summit, where he discussed the situation in Afghanistan, its internal and external ramifications, and regional security challenges.
On the fringes of the conference, S Jaishankar met with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The disengagement in border areas was considered by the two leaders. S Jaishankar emphasised the importance of progress in the eastern Ladakh disengagement process for the restoration of peace and tranquilly.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to Nato, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. It was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017. India was also made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
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