New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan’s historic city of Samarkand. 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 had the participation of several world leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin, Raisi, and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif among others from the Central Asian countries.
Highlights of SCO Summit 2022 — 10 Points:
- Addressing the leaders of the member countries at the SCO summit, PM Modi called on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to create trusted and resilient supply chains to offset the disruptions caused by the Ukraine crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Citing the difficulties faced by India to provide aid to Afghanistan, he said the members of the grouping should give each other full transit rights to expand connectivity.
- Notably, PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping came face-to-face for the first time since the start of the border standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh around 28 months back.
- During the bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit, Prime Minister Modi stressed an end to the conflict in Ukraine, saying “today’s era is not of war”. PM Modi emphasised the importance of “democracy, dialogue and diplomacy” while calling for early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine. More On It: ‘Today’s Era Isn’t Of War’: PM Modi Tells Russian President Putin Amid Ukraine Invasion
- Uzbekistan handed over the rotating presidency of the eight-member SCO to India for the next year. Xi said that China would support India for next year’s president and Putin congratulated the country on the same.
- Notably, the SCO plans to prepare a single list of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups whose activities are banned on the territories of the member states. This move aims to counter the threat posed by them to the region.
“In accordance with their national legislation and on the basis of consensus, the member states will seek to develop common principles and approaches to form a unified list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organizations whose activities are prohibited on the territories of the SCO member states,” the Samarkand declaration signed by the leaders of the member nations stated.
- As for Afghanistan, the member states called for creating 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.
- On Iran, the declaration informed that the SCO member states consider a sustained implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme important. They called upon all participants to rigorously implement their commitments for the full and effective implementation of the document.
- Recognising the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, the 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 early destruction of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons,” the declaration stated.
- The SCO reaffirmed its commitment to a more representative, democratic, just, and a multipolar world order that is based on the universally recognised principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, common, indivisible, comprehensive, and sustainable security.
- The grouping also called for creating a transparent international energy market and reducing the existing trade barriers.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc. It has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.
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 Agency Inputs)
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