DIPLOMACY

SCO Foreign Ministers meet ahead of crucial summit in July; discuss terror

Friday, 24 May, 2024
The SCO Summit will be held in Kazakhstan in July this year. (Photo courtesy: Screen grab/X@BelarusMFA)

Astana: Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) grouping met in Astana this week to discuss regional security issues, terrorism, and separatism, and also finalize preparations for the upcoming Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State, slated to be held in the Kazakhstan capital in July this year.

Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Murat Nurtleu, the event was attended by foreign ministers of the SCO member states, the SCO Secretary-General, and the Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Executive Committee.

During the meeting, the heads of the delegations exchanged views on the international and regional agendas, security issues and the development of political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation within the SCO. The participants also signed several resolutions regarding the final documents of the upcoming SCO summit.

India’s delegation at the meeting was led by Dammu Ravi, Secretary, Economic Relations, at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). “The cooperation program agreed with you on the fight against terrorism, separatism, and extremism is a concrete step in this direction.

In turn, the completion of work on the SCO’s anti-narcotics strategy will strengthen mutual measures to combat the drug threat, including the blocking of terrorist financing channels,” Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart said in his opening remarks.

Foreign Ministers from Russia (Sergei Lavrov), China (Wang Yi), Kyrgyzstan (Jeenbek Kulubayev), Uzbekistan (Bakhtiyor Saidov), Belarus (Sergey Aleynik), Tajikistan (Sirojiddin Muhriddin), Pakistan (Ishaq Dar) along with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran (Mehdi Safari), Secretary General of the SCO Zhang Ming, Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure Ruslan Mirzayev also participated in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Ravi has held a series of meetings, including with Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Rudenko and senior officials of the Kazakhstan government since he arrived in the country on May 20.

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Xi-Putin meeting confirmed

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping again in July, Moscow’s top diplomat said during a meeting with China’s foreign minister. The upcoming meeting between the two world leaders would be the second one in around two months.

"Our leaders will meet during an SCO summit here in Astana in July,” Russia’s top diplomat Sergey Lavrov said according to a statement by the Russian news agency Interfax. Xi recently hosted Putin during a state visit and said that China-Russia ties are “conducive to peace". In a similar statement, Putin said that the ties between the two nations are ‘stabilizing” for the world.

The visit to China was also Putin’s first trip abroad since his March reelection and a second one to Beijing in just over six months. “Relations between Russia and China are not opportunistic and not directed against anyone,” Putin said, according to a statement by the Kremlin.

China and Russia are the founding members of the SCO, a Eurasian political, economic, international security and defense organization set up in 2001.