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Jaishankar to represent India in key SCO meet hosted by China on Tuesday

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will represent India in the 21st meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government (CHG) which will be hosted virtually by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday.

Held annually, the SCO CHG meeting focuses on the trade and economic agenda of the organisation and approves its annual budget.

The meeting will be attended by the SCO Member States, Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), Turkmenistan and other invited guests.

“India remains actively engaged in various SCO activities/dialogue mechanisms in the region as well as other multilateral cooperation within the SCO framework,” a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday.

Last month, at the invitation of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visted Samarkand to participate in the 22nd meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the SCO.

Set up in June 2001, SCO is a regional multilateral organisation that has eight member states namely India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Since joining SCO as a full member in 2017, India has been making positive contributions to the organistation processes, deliberations and its outcomes.

After the Council of Heads of State, the Council of Heads of Government is the second most important mechanism of the SCO, which deals principally with trade, economy and cultural agenda of the organisation.

India chaired this mechanism during 2020 with the then Vice President Venkaiah Naidu presiding over our Summit meeting in November 2020 in virtual format.

During India’s chairmanship at that time, a number of initiatives were taken including holding an exhibition of shared Buddhist heritage in SCO member states in virtual format by the National Museum, translation of 10 books of regional Indian literature into the official languages of the SCO, i.e the Russian and the Chinese and hosting the first SCO Start up Forum, the first SCO MSME forum and the first SCO Young Scientist Conclave in virtual format.

The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, RATS of SCO is another important mechanism of the organisation. India assumed the chairship of the executive council of RATS in October last year for a year, and has been focusing on promoting practical cooperation in combating the problem of terrorism in the region.

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