New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the historic city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan on Friday. He held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The SCO held its first in-person summit in Samarkand after two years of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The summit brought together several world leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin, Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, among others from Central Asian countries.
Highlights of the 2022 SCO Summit — 10 dots:
- Addressing leaders of member countries at the SCO summit, Prime Minister Modi called on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to build reliable and resilient supply chains to offset the disruptions caused by the Ukraine crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Citing India’s difficulties in delivering aid to Afghanistan, he said the grouping members should grant each other full transit rights to expand connectivity.
- Notably, Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for the first time since the border clash between India and China began in eastern Ladakh some 28 months ago.
- During bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the end of the conflict in Ukraine, saying that “the era of today is not that of war”. Prime Minister Modi stressed the importance of “democracy, dialogue and diplomacy” while calling for a rapid cessation of hostilities in Ukraine. More on this: ‘Today’s era is not one of war’: Prime Minister Modi tells Russian President Putin amid Ukraine invasion
- Uzbekistan has handed over the rotating eight-member SCO presidency to India for next year. Xi said China will back India for president next year and Putin praised the country for the same.
- In particular, the SCO plans to prepare a single list of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups whose activities are prohibited in the territories of member states. This decision aims to counter the threat they pose to the region.
“In accordance with their national legislation and on the basis of consensus, Member States will endeavor to develop common principles and approaches to form a unified list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organizations whose activities are prohibited on territories of SCO member states,” said the Samarkand Declaration signed by the leaders of the member nations.
- As for Afghanistan, Member States called for the establishment of an inclusive government in the war-torn country currently under Taliban rule. The SCO grouping also sought the formation of Afghanistan as an independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful state, free from terrorism, war and drugs.
- Regarding Iran, the statement informed that the SCO member states regard as important the sustained implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program. They called on all participants to rigorously implement their commitments for the full and effective implementation of the document.
- Recognizing the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, SCO members called for compliance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons. “They stress the importance of the rapid destruction of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons,” the statement read.
- The SCO reaffirmed its commitment to a more representative, democratic, just and multipolar world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, common, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security.
- The group also called for the creation of a transparent international energy market and the reduction of existing trade barriers.
The SCO, considered a counterweight to NATO, is an economic and security bloc of eight members. It has become one of the largest trans-regional international organizations.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017.
(With contributions from the agency)
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