External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday met with his Iranian, Armenian and Uzbek counterparts and exchanged views on the recent developments in Afghanistan, confronting regional challenges and the ways to boost bilateral ties.
Jaishankar is in the Tajik capital to attend a key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on the situation in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban last month. He tweeted and said he was “glad to meet” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on the sidelines of the SCO meet in Dushanbe.
"Discussed strengthening our bilateral relations and working together on regional challenges,” Jaishankar said.
While meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, Jaishankar said the two leaders “positively reviewed” the bilateral cooperation and agreed to work together to expand it further.
“Good to meet FM Abdulaziz Kamilov of Uzbekistan. Our conversation focused on the Afghanistan situation. As countries combating terrorism and fundamentalism, our close cooperation is in mutual interest,” he tweeted following his meeting with the foreign minister of Uzbekistan.
Actor Prachee Panday and her group enthralled the audience with their exquisite performance in the gala concert at the SCO Summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to virtually participate in the annual summit on September 17 that is expected to discuss extensively on the developments in Afghanistan as well as the overall regional security scenario.
Jaishankar will attend a meeting on Afghanistan with the heads of state of SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It is now seen as a counterweight to NATO. The eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations in the world. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.
India has shown keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
India was made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
(With PTI Inputs)