Bilateral Meetings: On August 23, 2022, Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reached Tashkent, Uzbekistan on a three-day official visit to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). During the visit, he held bilateral meetings with the Defence Ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus & Kyrgyzstan and reviewed the entire spectrum of defence cooperation with them, with focus on identifying avenues to expand mutually beneficial collaboration. He also discussed issues of mutual interest during exchange of pleasantries with Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, wherein he conveyed his deep appreciation for arresting in Moscow a terrorist who was planning attacks in India.
Meeting of the Defence Ministers’ of SCO Member States: On August 24, 2022, the Raksha Mantri attended the Annual Meeting of the Defence Ministers’ of SCO Member States. Addressing the meeting, he called upon SCO to unitedly fight against terrorism and eliminate the menace in all its forms. He asserted that terrorism in any form, including cross-border terrorism, committed by anyone and for whatever purpose, is a crime against humanity. In this context, he proposed to host a workshop in India in 2023 on the theme ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief—Risk mitigation and Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’ for the Defence Ministries of SCO Member States. He also suggested an annual seminar on ‘Topic of Interest’ among the defence think tanks of SCO countries. Shri Rajnath Singh voiced India’s full support to a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, while emphasising to respect its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, national unity and non-interference in internal affairs. Expressing India’s concern on the situation in Ukraine, he stated that India supports talks between Russia and Ukraine to resolve this crisis.