India's Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
The situation in war-torn Afghanistan has a direct bearing on regional security, S Jaishankar told a news conference in Moscow after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
India's Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will be on a visit to Central Asia next week, his one-stop will be Tajikistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO Foreign ministers meet, and another will be Uzbekistan for connectivity meet.
The ministerial meeting of SCO will take place in Tajik Capital Dushanbe on July 13 and 14.
Afghanistan will be the key focus with the SCO-Afghanistan foreign ministers meeting that will take place on July 14.
Tajikistan is chair of the grouping which has eight member countries includiing Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and four central Asian countries, that are Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan.
The Dushanbe meet comes at a crucial time when the Taliban has been making rapid gains in the country territorially especially in north Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan. A few days ago over 1000 Afghan soldiers had fled Afghanistan and crossed over to Tajikistan as the Taliban made rapid advances.
India's foreign minister said on Friday he was concerned over developments in Afghanistan and called for a reduction in the level of violence.
The situation in the war-torn nation has a direct bearing on regional security, S Jaishankar told a news conference in Moscow after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Taliban officials said on Friday the Sunni Muslim insurgent group had taken control of 85 per cent of territory in Afghanistan, as the United States and others withdrew the bulk of their troops after 20 years of fighting.
Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent will be hosting the international conference "Central and South Asia: Regional Interconnectedness. Challenges and Opportunities".
The summit, which will happen July 15 and 16, will have three common themes of discussion--Economic, Cultural, security- connectivity and aims to refresh historical ties. Leadership and representatives of Russia, Iran, Pakistan, China, the US, and the EU have also been invited to the summit.
Interestingly, Pakistani foreign minister SM Qureshi will also be present in both capitals for the same meetings as well. This is the third time both FMs will be present in the same location at the same time this year. Earlier at the heart of Asia meet in Dushanbe, and bilateral visits to UAE, both were present in the same capital but no talks, formal or informal took place.