Defence Minister Rajnath Singh attended the annual meeting of defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states on Wednesday.
Defence cooperation issues among the SCO member states were among the issues believed to be discussed during the meeting. A joint communique is expected to be issued later. Singh is also scheduled to address his counterparts.
“Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh with the Defence Ministers of SCO Member countries at the SCO Meet in Tashkent, Uzbekistan,” Defence Minister’s Office tweeted along with a picture of the top leaders.
Rajnath Singh, on August 23, reached Tashkent, Uzbekistan on a three-day official visit.
On the first day of his engagements, Rajnath Singh held bilateral meetings with his Uzbek counterpart Lieutenant General Bakhodir Kurbanov; Defence Minister of Kazakhstan Colonel General Zhaksylykov Ruslan Zhakslykov and Belarusian Defence Minister Lieutenant General Viktor Khrenin.
The entire spectrum of defence cooperation with the three countries was reviewed during the meetings, with a focus on identifying avenues to expand mutually beneficial collaboration. Issues of mutual interest were also discussed.
During the stay in Tashkent, Rajnath Singh will pay homage at the monument of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and meet the Indian Diaspora in Uzbekistan.
Last month, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar visited Tashkent on 2022 at the invitation of Uzbekistan Acting Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov to take part in the meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers.
Apart from India, the Foreign Ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also participated.
The meeting discussed the preparations for the forthcoming SCO Summit of Heads of State scheduled to be held in Samarkand on September 15-16 and witnessed a dialogue on international and regional issues.
EAM also held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the SCO FMM with counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and with the Secretary General of the SCO.