Sushma Swaraj to attend SCO foreign ministers meet in Bishkek, her last tour under present government

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: May 20, 2019, 03:04 PM IST

File photo: Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj. Photograph:(AFP)

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India became a full member of the the China-dominated grouping in 2017 and New Delhi's entry has increased the bloc's heft in regional geo-politics, besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will attend a two-day meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), beginning on Tuesday, in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, during which several pressing issues including a thread of terrorism are expected to be discussed.

This will be her last visit as the External Affairs Minister to any country under the present government. She will leave for Bishkek on Tuesday at 10 am.

During the meet, India will be strongly raising the issue of terror and the Afghan peace process. 

The meeting comes just weeks before the SCO summit that will take place in Bishkek from June 13-14 and will see the participation of the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers.

The External Affairs Ministry said the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) will exchange views on topical issues of international and regional importance, besides reviewing the preparation for the SCO Summit in Bishkek from June 13-14.

External Affairs Minister’s program in Bishkek will include the "meeting of Council of SCO Foreign Ministers" and a joint call of SCO Foreign Ministers on Kyrgyz President Sooranbay Jeenbekov.

This is the second SCO FMs meet India is participating as a full member of SCO, the last being in April of 2018 in Beijing.

India became a full member of the China-dominated grouping in 2017 and New Delhi's entry has increased the bloc's heft in regional geopolitics, besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.

No India-Pakistan meet

Pakistan will be represented by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. 

Asked if Pakistani and Indian ministers will meet during the SCO FMs summit, the Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, "The two foreign ministers would be present in the meeting and in all likelihood would interact amongst themselves and with other leaders. No formal meeting is, however, envisaged."

India got full membership of the grouping along with Pakistan in 2017 during the Astana summit of SCO with the process beginning during 2015 SCO summit in Russia.