EAM Jaishankar holds talks with SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming as Foreign Ministers’ meet begins in Goa

4 May, 2023 | Pragati Singh

EAM Jaishankar National

SCO summit's primary focus areas are startups, traditional medicine, youth empowerment, Buddhist legacy, and science and technology.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Zhang Ming, in Goa and expressed gratitude for his “support for India’s SCO Presidency.” This comes as the two-day summit of SCO member countries’ foreign ministers began in Goa on Thursday. The EAM described his relationship with Zhang Ming as “productive” today, and stated that the Indian Presidency is motivated by a “commitment to Secure SCO.”

“Started my meetings at SCO CFM with a productive interaction with Secretary General Zhang Ming. Appreciate his support for India’s SCO Presidency. Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to SECURE SCO,” Jaishankar tweeted.

According to Jaishankar, the SCO summit’s primary focus areas are startups, traditional medicine, youth empowerment, Buddhist legacy, and science and technology. “Looking forward to a successful CFM in Goa,” he tweeted.

‘Secure-SCO’ is the topic of India’s SCO Chairmanship in 2023. India places a high value on the SCO’s role in developing regional multilateral, political, security, economic, and people-to-people ties. Meanwhile, Jaishankar is scheduled to meet with his counterparts from Russia, China, and Uzbekistan later today.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Goa on Thursday morning (today) to attend the two-day summit of foreign ministers. On his arrival in India, Lavrov was accompanied by a delegation. Foreign ministers from China and Pakistan will also attend this conference in person. The ministers will debate a variety of significant geopolitical topics, including SCO member economic cooperation and regional security.

Lavrov is visiting India for the second time this year. He had previously attended the G20 Foreign Ministers conference in New Delhi in March. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a 2001 intergovernmental organisation. Russia, India, China, Pakistan, and four Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The continued participation with the SCO has aided India in promoting relations with the countries in the region with which it shares civilizational ties and is regarded as India’s extended neighbors. At the Samarkand SCO Summit in 2022, India assumed the rotating presidency of the SCO.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the foreign minister of Pakistan, will also land in Goa today for the SCO summit. A potential bilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan hasn’t been announced yet, though. One of the numerous key SCO events that India is hosting this year is the meeting of the foreign ministers. The participation in the summit has been confirmed by the foreign ministries of China, Pakistan, and Russia. All SCO members had received official invitations from India.