SCO summit begins today

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PM Modi and the Russian President will discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20 during the SCO summit…reports Asian Lite News

The 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS) is set to commence on Thursday in Samarkand in Uzbekistan after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The summit would be the first in-person SCO-CoHS Summit, after the last one held in June 2019 in Bishkek, before the Covid pandemic hit the world as the subsequent two summits under the chairmanship of Russia and Tajikistan were held in virtual format.

Leaders of SCO Member States, Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests would attend the meeting.

The leaders of the SCO member countries will hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, as they are meeting after two years due to the COVID pandemic. The leaders are expected to review the organization’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation. Topical issues of regional and global importance are also expected to be discussed at the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the summit for two days, today and on Friday. He is expected to have bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand.

PM Modi and the Russian President will discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20 during the SCO summit.

The Prime Minister would also have other bilateral meetings during the summit which begins on September 14 at Samarkand in Uzbekistan

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are also expected to attend the summit. Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022. India will be the next chair of the SCO.

The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).

SCO has potential in various new sectors, wherein all the member-states could find converging interests. India has already pushed hard for cooperation in Startups and Innovation, Science and Technology and Traditional Medicine.

India, from the time of its full membership, made sincere efforts to encourage peace, prosperity, and stability of the whole Eurasian region in general and SCO member countries in particular.

The SCO provides India with an opportunity to initiate multilateral and regional initiatives on counter-terrorism and deal with the illicit drug trade, which is now being used by its neighbours to inflict social wounds and target India’s youth.

Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022. India will be the next chair of the SCO.

The Shanghai Five, formed in 1996, became the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. With India and Pakistan entering the grouping in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organisations, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world’s population. (ANI)

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