Highlighting the threats posed by the rising radicalisation in the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the biggest challenges faced by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are related to peace, security and concerns regarding trust deficit.
While addressing the Plenary Session of the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State, PM Modi said, “The biggest challenges in this area are related to peace, security and trust deficit. The main cause of these problems is increasing radicalisation. Recent developments in Afghanistan have made this challenge clear.” Referring to the historical trends, Prime Minister Modi said the region of Central Asia has been a bastion of moderate and progressive cultures and values. “Traditions like Sufism flourished here over the centuries and spread throughout the region and the world. We can still see their image in the cultural heritage of this region.”
Keeping in view the 20th anniversary of SCO forum, Prime Minister said that the members’ countries must encourage our talented youngsters towards science and rational thinking. “We can bring our startups and entrepreneurs together to make the innovative spirit towards making India a stakeholder in an emerging technology.”
Underlining the importance of connectivity in the region, PM Modi said that any connectivity initiative cannot be one-way. “To ensure mutual trust, connectivity projects should be consultative, transparent and participatory. There should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries.”
“India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. We believe that landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit immensely by connecting with India’s vast market,” he added.
During the address Prime Minister Modi also welcomed Iran as a new member country of the SCO. He also welcomed the three new dialogue partners – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.