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EAM Jaishankar keeps busy with bilaterals ahead of Thursday’s SCO address

EAM’s meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov happened in the Evening around 7 p.m.  After the meeting Jaishankar tweeted:
“Pleasure to meet FM Sergey Lavrov, this time in person. Excellent talks that reflect our Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. Value our exchanges on the international situation.” India and Russia enjoy an important strategic partnership and this year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of India –Russia Strategic Partnership.

The two sides discussed issues within the common multilateral organizations like SCO, BRICS, RIC. The Russian Foreign minister in a tweet said, “We highly appreciate an opportunity to discuss the development of strategic partnership in all areas bilateral relations, cooperation within the frameworks of SCO, BRICS, UN.” 
Earlier in the day, EAM met with his Kyrgyz counterpart Chingiz Aidarbekov. Both the leaders discussed issues of bilateral and regional interest and agreed to further enhance the Strategic Partnership in all spheres. 
The external affairs minister also met with the Tajik Foreign minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin and discussed growing bilateral and regional cooperation. 
On the Sidelines of SCO, Russia-India-China are expected to have a RIC group meeting also. EAM Jaishankar is also expected to have a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The bilateral meeting holds special significance in the backdrop of the ongoing military faceoff between the two countries along the LAC in Ladakh.
 The Russian president Vladimir Putin also addressed the CFM through Video conference in the evening on Wednesday. The meeting of SCO foreign ministers is scheduled to start from 12.30pm on Thursday.

The SCO meeting will be chaired by the current Chair of SCO, Russia and the discussion will lay the ground for the upcoming session of the SCO Heads of State Council expected to be held later this year. This will be the third CFM meeting that India will be attending as a full member of SCO. 

The foreign ministers at SCO will discuss key international and regional issues in the context of the 75th UN anniversary.  The deliberations will be centered around,  “a number of urgent foreign policy issues as well as decisions aimed at further developing SCO activities on overcoming the global political and socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a press statement from the  Russian foreign ministry last week. 

EAM Jaishankar’s Moscow visit comes on the heels of Defence minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to the Russian capital last week, to attend the SCO Defense minister’s meeting.  The defense minister also held several bilateral meetings with the member states including Russia and China. During the bilateral discussion with the Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe the two Ministers had in-depth discussions about the developments in the India-China border areas as well as on India-China relations.

The Defence Minister had stated clearly that while the Indian troops had always taken a very responsible approach towards border management, but at the same time there should also be no doubt about our determination to protect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

By Abhishek Jha

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