External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Zhang Ming in Goa and appreciated his “support for India’s SCO Presidency”.
This comes as the two-day-long meeting of Foreign Ministers of SCO member states began in Goa on May 4.
Describing his interaction with Zhang Ming as “productive” now, the EAM said that Indian Presidency is driven by a “commitment to Secure SCO”.
“Started my meetings at SCO CFM with a productive interaction with Secretary General Zhang Ming. Appreciate his support for India’s SCO Presidency. Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to SECURE SCO,” Jaishankar tweeted.
The key focus areas of the SCO summit are startups, traditional medicine, youth empowerment, Buddhist heritage and science and technology, Jaishankar said.
“Looking forward to a successful CFM in Goa,” he tweeted.
The theme of India’s Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is ‘Secure-SCO’. India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions in the region.
Meanwhile, Jaishankar is slated to have three more bilaterals with his counterparts from Russia, China and Uzbekistan later today.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has already arrived in Goa on Thursday (today) morning to attend the two-day-long meeting of foreign ministers. Lavrov was accompanied by a delegation on his arrival in India.
Foreign ministers of China and Pakistan are also among those who will attend this meeting in person. The ministers will discuss a range of important geopolitical issues, such as economic cooperation among SCO members and regional security.
It is the second time this year that Lavrov is visiting India. Previously he had attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi this March.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. The members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) include Russia, India, China, Pakistan, and four central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The ongoing engagement with SCO has helped India promote its relations with the countries in the region with which India has shared civilisational linkages, and is considered India’s extended neighbourhood.
India took over the rotating presidency of the SCO at the Samarkand SCO Summit in 2022.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will also arrive in Goa today for the SCO summit. However, a possibility of a bilateral between India and Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has not been confirmed so far.
The Foreign Ministers’ meeting is one of several significant SCO gatherings that India is hosting this year. All SCO members had received formal invitations from India, and participation in the summit has been confirmed by the foreign ministries of China, Pakistan, and Russia.