Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met his counterparts from Iran, Armenia and Uzbekistan on Friday and exchanged views on recent developments in Afghanistan, in the face of regional challenges and ways to strengthen bilateral relations.
Jaishankar, who is in the Tajik capital to attend a key Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting on the situation in Afghanistan after it was taken over by the Taliban last month, said in a tweet that he was “happy to meet” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Dushanbe.
“We discussed strengthening our bilateral relations and collaboration on regional challenges,” he said.
During his meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, Jaishankar said the two leaders “positively considered” bilateral cooperation and agreed to work together to expand it further.
“I am happy to meet FM Abdulaziz Kamilov from Uzbekistan. Our conversation focused on the situation in Afghanistan. As a country fighting against terrorism and fundamentalism, our close cooperation is in the mutual interest ”, he tweeted after his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan.
Actress Prachee Panday and her band captivated audiences with their exquisite performance at the COS Summit Gala Concert.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate virtually in the annual SCO summit on September 17, which is expected to discuss in depth developments in Afghanistan as well as the overall regional security scenario.
Jaishankar will participate in a meeting on Afghanistan with the heads of state of the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has grown into one of the largest cross-regional international organizations. 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, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India has shown keen interest in deepening its security cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Counterterrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with security and defense issues.
India was appointed observer to the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which mainly focus on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
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