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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' meeting in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek today. She arrived in Bishkek yesterday on a three-day visit to Kyrgyzstan. Mrs Sitharaman will also hold bilateral meetings with her counterparts from some SCO member countries on the sidelines of the conclave. 

The SCO Defence Ministers will explore ways to further boost defence and security cooperation among the member countries in the wake of evolving security challenges in the region.  India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence. 

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  India and Pakistan became its full members in 2017.  Kyrgyzstan is the Chair of the SCO at present.




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