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Jaishankar holds ‘productive’ dialogue with SCO Secretary General, stage set for bilateral parleys

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar with Secretary General of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Zhang Ming in Goa on Thursday (Image courtesy: Twitter/@DrSJaishankar)

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a “productive” dialogue with the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Zhang Ming in Goa on Thursday.

“Started my meetings at SCO CFM with a productive interaction with Secretary General Zhang Ming. Appreciate his support for India’s SCO Presidency. Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to SECURE SCO,” Jaishankar tweeted, as the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting kicked off in Goa.

The External Affairs Minister said that startups, traditional medicine, youth empowerment, Buddhist heritage and science and technology, were the focal areas at the conference.

“Looking forward to a successful CFM in Goa,” he tweeted.

During the course of the day, Jaishankar is slated to have three more bilaterals with his counterparts from Russia, China and Uzbekistan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has already arrived in Goa on Thursday. Foreign ministers of China and Pakistan are also attending this meeting in person. This is Lavrov’s second visit to India, following the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi this March.

In a pre-arrival statement, Pakistani foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari kept the door open for a bilateral meeting with Jaishankar, when he said he looked forward to “constructive discussions with my counterparts from friendly countries”.

“During my visit, which is focused exclusively on the SCO, I look forward to constructive discussions with my counterparts from friendly countries,” Zardari added.

The ministers will discuss a range of important geopolitical issues, such as economic cooperation among SCO members and regional security.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. The members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) include Russia, India, China, Pakistan, and four central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Also Read: Why India will go all out to dig its heels in Eurasia during Goa SCO conference