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External Affairs Minister Jaishankar Expected To Visit Tajikistan This Week

Jaishankar is also likely to hold a series of bilateral meetings at Tajik capital city with his counterparts from Russia, Iran and Tajikistan among others

Jaishankar

Image: PTI


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is expected to travel to Tajikistan this week to attend a key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on the situation in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban, people familiar with the developments said on Monday.

Jaishankar is also likely to hold a series of bilateral meetings at Tajik capital city Dushanbe with his counterparts from Russia, Iran and Tajikistan among others, they said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to virtually participate in the annual SCO summit on September 17 that is expected to deliberate extensively on the developments in Afghanistan as well as the overall regional security scenario.

The people cited above said Jaishankar will attend a meeting on Afghanistan of the heads of state of SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi are expected to be in Dushanbe for the SCO meetings.

Earlier this month, Jaishankar spoke to his newly-appointed Iranian counterpart and discussed the situation in Afghanistan as well as bilateral issues.

The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.

India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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.

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