Focus on fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism as SCO Foreign Ministers meet in Astana

  • IANS
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Focus on fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism as SCO
 Foreign Ministers meet in Astana

Astana, May 21 (IANS) Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) grouping met in Astana on Tuesday to discuss regional security issues and also finalise preparations for the upcoming Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State, slated to be held in the Kazakh capital in July. India's delegation at the meeting, which was opened by Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, is led by Dammu Ravi, Secretary, Economic Relations, at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

"The cooperation programme agreed with you on the fight against terrorism, separatism, and extremism is a concrete step in this direction. In turn, the completion of work on the SCO's anti-narcotics strategy will strengthen mutual measures to combat the drug threat, including the blocking of terrorist financing channels," Tokayev said in his opening remarks.

Foreign Ministers from Russia (Sergei Lavrov), China (Wang Yi), Kazakhstan (Murat Nurtileu), Kyrgyzstan (Jeenbek Kulubayev), Uzbekistan (Bakhtiyor Saidov), Belarus (Sergey Aleynik), Tajikistan (Sirojiddin Muhriddin), Pakistan (Ishaq Dar) along with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran (Mehdi Safari), Secretary General of the SCO Zhang Ming, Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure Ruslan Mirzayev also participated in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Ravi has held a series of meetings, including with Russia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Rudenko and senior officials of the Kazakhstan government since he arrived in the country on Monday.

"An exchange of views took place on a wide range of bilateral and international issues, with an emphasis on interaction in the UN, BRICS and SCO. The focus on further strengthening the versatile India-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership was confirmed," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement after the Astana meeting.



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