On the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Goa, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart and State Councillor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and discussed matters pertaining to “resolving outstanding issues” and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
The meeting came after two months. They met in March and certainly have significance, given the military standoff between the two countries along the Line of Actual Control.
Dr S Jaishankar also held discussions with Russian Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the Russian Foreign Ministry later said “a trust-based exchange of views” on the main issues of bilateral relations took place on the occasion.
After their meeting on March 2 with the Chinese Minister on the sidelines of the gathering of G20 Foreign Ministers in New Delhi, Dr S Jaishankar described the current state of the bilateral relations as “abnormal”.No such strong words were used for the May 4 meeting. The SCO Ministers’ Conference will be held on May 5.
Taking to Twitter, Dr S Jaishankar said, “A detailed discussion with State Councillor and FM Qin Gang of China on our bilateral relationship. Focus remains on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas. Also discussed SCO, G20 and BRICS.”
In March, Dr S Jaishankar had also said that the “bulk of our conversation” was on the “current state of our relationship,” which were “abnormal”. “Those are the adjectives I used in that meeting,” Dr S Jaishankar said, adding that there are “real problems” and the two sides “need to talk about it openly and candidly”.
Dr S Jaishankar also held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and later the External Affairs Minister said, “Comprehensive review of our bilateral, global and multilateral cooperation with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia. Appreciated Russia’s support for India’s SCO presidency. Also discussed issues pertaining to G20 and BRICS.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said, “a trust-based exchange of views on the main issues of bilateral relations, including the schedule of upcoming contacts, as well as topical issues on the global and regional agenda took place. The ministers praised the dynamics of cooperation in key areas of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries.”
The Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) grouping is underway in Goa. The meeting is being held on May 4 and 5.
Members of SCO countries, including Foreign Minister of Pakistan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, have arrived in Goa for the two-day meeting.
The SCO Foreign Minister meeting will give India and other member countries a platform to discuss multilateral cooperation and several vital and disputed issues. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an eight-member multilateral organisation established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai.
Member states of SCO are China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Dr S Jaishankar welcomed the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Bakhtiyor Saidov, on his visit to India. He appreciated Uzbekistan’s strong support for India’s SCO presidency. He expressed his confidence in India’s bilateral partnership with Uzbekistan in different domains. Dr S Jaishankar also held discussions with SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming.
Dr S Jaishankar appreciated his support for India’s SCO Presidency, which India assumed in 2022.
The Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to secure SCO, the Minister said. Its key focus areas are startups, traditional medicine, youth empowerment, Buddhist heritage and science & technology.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari meets Russian Minister:
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari met his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers meeting on May 4. The two Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest and assured each other of working closely to further deepen cooperation.
“The SCO opens new vistas of cooperation and coordination with Russia,” the Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.