India, Kyrgyzstan hold bilateral meeting on SCO sidelines

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held an official meeting with her Kyrgyz counterpart Chingiz Aidarbekov on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Minister’s meet on Tuesday.

“First engagement in Bishkek. EAM @SushmaSwaraj had a productive discussion with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Aidarbekov on all aspects of bilateral relations, including in political & defence, trade & investment, health, capacity building and people-to-people ties,” Raveesh Kumar, the Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) tweeted.

The two-day Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting, from May 21 to May 22, will see all sides exchange views on issues of international and regional importance, along with reviewing the preparation for the SCO Summit in Bishkek from June 13-14, according to the MEA.

The EAM’s visit comes just after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the SCO Defence Ministers’ conclave in the Kyrgyz capital last month. The conclave aimed to further boost defence and security cooperation among the member countries in the wake of evolving security challenges in the region.

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Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is also slated to attend the impending SCO meeting. However, it is not known if any engagement will be held between the two leaders.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the then-Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


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