New Delhi, 15 June 2019
The 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek which brought about marking the ‘Bishkek Declaration’ of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Heads of State Council.
The declaration includes some of the major decisions including endorsing the Action Plan for 2019-2020 on the execution of the Program of Action for the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023, Digitalisation and Information and Communications Technology, Interregional Cooperation of the SCO Member States, supporting the Report of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) Council on SCO RATS exercises in 2018, action plan for Environmental Protection for 2019-2021, signing Memorandum of Understandings between – the SCO Secretariat and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); between the SCO Secretariat and the World Tourism Organization; between the SCO Secretariat and the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC); between the SCO Secretariat and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with a high-level delegation, attended the SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, the meeting of Council of Heads of State of SCO from June 13 to 14, which also increase cooperation at the bilateral level. PM Modi emphasised on the counter-terror cooperation and mentioned: “terrorism cannot be justified in any manner”.
India-Russia: Russia holds key importance in the Pacific region and could be a resource player in India’s Act East policy. Indian Prime Minister had a bilateral talk with the Russian President Vladimir Putin this Thursday on the sidelines of the SCO 2019. President Putin has invited PM Modi to be the chief guest at the Eastern Economic Forum to be held in early September in Russia. PM Modi is expected to be discussing Russia-India ties on the sidelines of his visit to Russia. Both the leaders agreed that the relation between the two nations has been based on ages of friendship, trust and mutual understanding which could be easily strengthened in various aspects.
As briefed by the Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, both leaders recognise the special significance of the cooperation between the duo. He added that the Prime Minister felt that this is a new area of cooperation which must be actively explored by both sides. High-level business delegations along with authorities from Indian states will visit Vladivostok and Russian Far East prior to the PM’s visit to identify to work on potential areas of business collaboration. Gokhale further mentioned that the Russian Far East is extremely resourceful and besides oil and gas, it has a number of other minerals and timber.
India-Kyrgyzstan: PM Modi had a conversation with the Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on June 14, as briefed by MEA. PM Modi announced the support of USD 200 Million credit line to Kyrgyzstan for development, thus upgrading the ties to the Strategic Partnership level. PM mentioned that the countries have prepared a five years plan for further extending the cooperation. The countries have signed 15 agreements including the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA), the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), MoUs in the field of Health, security, defence and Information and Communication Technology.
“India & Kyrgyzstan are now strategic partners! In a major outcome of the visit, both countries have decided to add strategic dimension to our ties to boost our relationship in defence & security, trade & investment, health, education & development cooperation, among other areas,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted after the talks between the two leaders.
India-China: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a delegation-level talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping discussing the ways to further strengthen the relations between the duo. An outcome of the meeting, an expected united front against US President Donald Trump’s policies of trade protectionism and unilateralism was agreed upon. This discussion could be easily seen as happening when India imposed duties on 29 US exports which would benefit India with USD 217 million additionally from these imports.
The SCO Summit has also hosted the Pakistani PM Imran Khan which is for the first time PM Modi has a face-off with the Pakistani PM after the long-running tensions with the two countries. However, India has denied any bilateral talks with Pakistan. Append to which, PM Modi took an alternative route to Bishkek through Oman and Iran instead Pakistan Air Space.
SCO – “Alliance of the East”
Created in 2001, SCO is a Eurasian politics; corporation on security, economy & culture; and military alliance formulated in Shanghai, China. China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan as the founding member states, while Uzbekistan joined in 2001 and India & Pakistan in 2017.
SCO holds a meeting every year, the member countries meet with the purpose to extend multilateral and bilateral corporation. It also conducts joint military exercises for countering external threats and promoting regional peace and stability.
- Covers three-fifths of Eurasia
- Covers the largest geography
- Targets nearly 50% of the human race
Global Desk, Diplomacytoday.in