DUSHANBE: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Tajik capital Dushanbe on Thursday to attend a two-day conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which is expected to focus on boosting cooperation in fighting terrorism, besides deliberating on pressing regional and global issues.
“EAM @SushmaSwaraj arrives in Dushanbe, the beautiful capital of Tajikistan to attend the SCO Heads of Government Council Meeting,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Kumar said that over the next two days, the minister will participate in SCO-related meetings, hold bilateral talks and interact with the Indian community in Tajikistan.
The meeting of the SCO’s Council of Heads of Government (CHG) is also likely to review situation in Syria, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula. It will be the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of SCO in June 2017.
India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
India became a full member of the China-dominated grouping last year and New Delhi’s entry into it is expected to increase the bloc’s heft in regional geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.
Along with India, Pakistan was also granted membership of SCO last year.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.
The bloc currently has eight member countries which represents around 42 per cent of the world’s population and 20 per cent of the global GDP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led an official delegation to the SCO Summit in Chinese city of Qingdao in June.