Sun, 03 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], March 29 (ANI): India, as the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), will host a meeting of national security advisors (NSA) and top officials in the national capital on Wednesday.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval will make opening remarks before the SCO NSA-level meeting that is scheduled to be held today.

Pakistan has also decided to participate in the National Security Advisor meeting of the SCO, which is being hosted by India, according to a source. The mode of participation is yet to be finalised, the source said further. Sources said the Pakistan representatives will also participate in the meeting.

The next important SCO meet will be the defence ministers' meet from April 27-29, to be hosted in Delhi.

The next SCO meet is the Foreign Ministers meet that would be held in Goa on May 4 and 5 and the SCO Summit in July - which is likely to see the participation of heads of states of SCO members.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001 and it comprises eight member states, namely, India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India became a full member of SCO on 9th June, 2017. There are four Observer States viz Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia and six dialogue partners - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a major regional powerhouse that was established over two decades ago with the aim of promoting economic, political, and military cooperation among its member nationsThe eight-member countries of SCO represent around 42 per cent of the world's total population and 25 per cent of the global GDP.

Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Patrushev, will attend the annual meeting of the secretaries of security councils of SCO member states in New Delhi on Wednesday, according to a statement by Russian Security Council, a Russian embassy official confirmed to ANI.

As India currently holds the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) presidency, it expects all member countries including Pakistan to attend the events under its SCO chairmanship, the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a press briefing in February.

"We hold the current presidency of SCO. As customary, we extend invites to all SCO countries including Pakistan. We expect them all to attend the events," Bagchi said in response to a question on India's SCO invite to Pakistan.

"I think Pakistani officials might have attended such events. I don't know who all have confirmed. We'll let you know closer to the date," Bagchi added while speaking during the MEA weekly media briefing.

The invitation has been extended to SCO members including the new Foreign Minister of China Qin Gang and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

India has formally sent invitations to all members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) including Pakistan and China for the upcoming SCO meeting which will be held in Goa from May 4-5. While the SCO summit is set to take place in Goa this summer, India is holding a host of events leading up to it.

Earlier this month, Pakistan also attended the meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Tourism administrations held in Kashi.

Kazakhstan's Vice Minister of Culture and Sports Yerzhan Yerkinbayev, China's Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Lu Ying Chuan, Kyrgyzstan's Deputy Minister of Culture, Information, Sports and Youth Policy Samat Bekturovich Shatmanov and Uzbekistan's First Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Azamov Ulugbek Axmatovich, First Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Uzbekistan in person attended the meeting of heads of the SCO tourism administrations held in Kashi.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Evgenyvich Ilyichev, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Development, Russia, Muminzod Kamoliddin, Chairman of the Tourism Development Committee, Tajikistan and Aun Chaudhry, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Tourism and Sports, Pakistan, virtually participated in the SCO meeting held in Kashi earlier this month, according to Tourism Ministry's press release.

Ajit Doval in February participated in the fifth Multilateral Meeting of Secretaries of Security Councils and National Security Advisers on Afghanistan in Moscow where he reiterated the call for an inclusive and representative government in Kabul and the need for collective efforts to fight terrorism.

During his Russia visit, Doval called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and agreed to continue work towards implementing the India-Russia strategic partnership.

Doval also held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral and regional issues with Putin, according to the Indian Embassy in Moscow.

Taking to Twitter, the Official handle of the Embassy of India in Russia wrote, "NSA Ajit Doval called on HE President Putin. Wide-ranging discussion on bilateral and regional issues. Agreed to continue work towards implementing the India-Russia strategic partnership."(ANI)

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