External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has called for urgently addressing the energy and food crisis that the world is facing today, due to disruptions from the Covid pandemic and Ukraine conflict. Dr Jaishankar was speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at Tashkent in Uzbekistan yesterday. 

The Minister said, that the response required to address these challenges includes, resilient and diversified supply chains as well as reformed multilateralism. He stressed that zero tolerance for terrorism in all its manifestations is a must. Dr Jaishankar reiterated India’s position on Afghanistan and highlighted the humanitarian support given by India including wheat, medicines, vaccines and clothing. He also underlined the potential of Chabahar port for SCO’s economic future.

The External Affairs Minister spoke about the economic progress in India, stressing the relevance of startups and innovation. He said cooperation in traditional medicine is in the common interest of SCO members.

Apart from India, the Foreign Ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also participated in the meeting. During the meeting, the discussion was held on the preparations for the forthcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit of Heads of State, scheduled to be held at Samarkand in Uzbekistan on the 15th and 16th of September this year. The meeting witnessed a dialogue on international and regional issues.

In a series of tweets, Dr Jaishankar said that the meeting of Foreign Ministers was very useful in preparing for the Samarkand summit.

Dr Jaishankar called on Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev along with his SCO colleagues and

conveyed the personal greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  He appreciated the momentum generated by Uzbek Presidency in the fields of security, economy, trade, connectivity and culture. He said India will give the fullest support for the success of the Samarkand Summit.

The External Affairs Minister also held bilateral meetings with counterparts from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and with the Secretary General of the SCO, on the sidelines of the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

Dr Jaishankar and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Norov, during their meeting, took stock of the bilateral cooperation, especially the development partnership. They spoke about connectivity challenges to be addressed through regional collaboration. Dr Jaishankar also met Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister Jeenbek Kulubaev. They discussed bilateral partnerships in political, development cooperation, education, connectivity and pharma.

With his Kyrgyzstan counterpart Jeenbek Kulubaev, the External Affairs Minister held a discussion on bilateral partnership in political, development cooperation, education, connectivity and pharma.

With Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Dr Jaishankar held a useful conversation on the evolving regional situation. In a tweet, Dr Jaishankar said, their long-standing cooperation encourages them to have an open exchange of views.

The External Affairs Minister also met with SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming. He said, India continues to bring more ideas and initiatives to strengthen cooperation among SCO countries. The Minister said, India's Presidency next year will give a renewed thrust to these efforts.

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