Rajnath Singh to visit Tajikistan for SCO defence ministers meet

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: Jul 26, 2021, 09:23 PM(IST)

File photo: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Photograph:( PTI )

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The last two months have seen two important SCO meetings under Tajikistan's leadership including the SCO National Security Advisor's meet and foreign ministers meet.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh will be leaving for Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe on Tuesday to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's Defence Ministers meet.

Wednesday will be the main day of engagement which will include a joint call on by SCO defence ministers with Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon.

Tajikistan is chair of the grouping which has eight member states - Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and four central Asian countries - Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Tajikistan will be holding the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) heads of state summit on September 16-17. 

There is no confirmation whether Rajnath Singh will meet with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the SCO meet. Rajnath Singh and Chinese defence minister General Wei Fenghe had met on the sidelines of the SCO meet last year in Moscow that came in the backdrop of Chinese aggression at Line of Actual Control(LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

The last two months have seen two important SCO meetings under Tajikistan's leadership including the SCO National Security Advisor's meet and foreign ministers meet. The SCO foreign minister meet earlier this month saw external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar and Chinese FM Wang Yi holding a meeting.

During the meet, the Indian side clearly told the Chinese delegation that "unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable" and called for "resolving the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh at the earliest", according to the readout by the ministry of external affairs.

SCO as a grouping occupies 60 per cent of the Eurasian continent, which is over 34 million square kilometres with a population of over 3 billion -- that is almost half of the world's population.

Mongolia, Belarus, Afghanistan and Iran are its observers in the grouping, while, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Cambodia, Nepal and Sri Lanka have dialogue partner status.

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