SCO meet: Jaishankar calls for zero tolerance on terror


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NEW DELHI: Calling for urgently addressing the energy and food crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Covid-19, external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday said at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Tashkent that zero tolerance for terrorism in all its manifestations is a must.
Among those present was Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. Official sources said there was no bilateral meeting between the two. Jaishankar was reported to have called upon SCO to fight “new world threats such as hunger and new types of terrorism”.
Jaishankar also did not have a bilateral meeting with Taliban acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, unlike his Chinese and Pakistan counterparts Wang Yi and Bilawal Bhutto.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov also participated in the meeting that was held in the run up to the SCO summit in Samarkand in September.
Despite India’s reservations about involvement of third countries in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Wang was reported to have reiterated Beijing’s support for the extension of the same into Afghanistan.
There was no bilateral meeting between Jaishankar and Wang. The two had met earlier this month on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Bali.
Interestingly, while the Indian side didn’t confirm there was a bilateral meeting with Lavrov, the Russian embassy here said Jaishankar and Lavrov met and discussed “topical issues of bilateral relations as well as regional and international problems”.
“Highlighted that world faces an energy and food crisis due to disruptions from Covid pandemic and Ukraine conflict. This needs to be urgently addressed. Response required includes resilient and diversified supply chains as well as reformed multilateralism,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.
The minister also reiterated India’s position on Afghanistan and highlighted its humanitarian assistance, including wheat, medicines, vaccines and clothing. He said that he also underlined the potential of Chabahar port for SCO’s economic future.
“Spoke of the economic progress in India, stressing the relevance of startups and innovation. Cooperation in traditional medicine is in the common interest of SCO members,” said Jaishankar.
The foreign ministers’ meeting was meant to finalise the agenda for the upcoming summit in Samarkand. This will be the first time that Modi and Xi will come face to face since the ongoing military standoff in eastern Ladakh that started in April 2020.

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