The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation under India’s presidency welcomed Iran as the new permanent member of the grouping. Food, fuel and fertiliser crisis is a big challenge for all the countries in the world surrounded by controversies, tensions and epidemics and there must be united efforts to deal with it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, July 4, 2023. In his opening remarks at the virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Mr. Modi also said that some countries use cross-border terrorism as an instrument of their policy and the grouping must not hesitate to criticise them.
With Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif listening, Mr. Modi said there is a need for decisive action to deal with terrorism. The summit was joined by Chinese President Xi Jinping, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Mr. Sharif and other leaders of the SCO nations. Terrorism has become a threat to regional and global peace, the Prime Minister said, calling for expanding mutual cooperation to deal with terror financing as well. “We have to fight together against terrorism that may be in any form and any manifestation,” Mr. Modi said. India’s concerns and expectations regarding Afghanistan are similar to those of most SCO countries, the PM said.
‘SCO Key Platform For Peace And Prosperity In Entire Eurasia’: PM Modi Virtually Addresses Summit
The Prime Minister said the SCO has emerged as a key platform for peace, prosperity and development for Eurasia. India’s thousands of years old cultural and people-to-people ties with this region (Eurasia) are living testimony to our shared heritage, he said As chair of the SCO, India has made sustained efforts to take our multifaceted cooperation to new heights, he added. He also said that India supports the proposal of reform and modernisation of the SCO. “I am happy that Iran is going to join the SCO family as a new member,” he added. The SCO, comprising India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, is an influential economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.
India assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO at the Samarkand Summit of SCO on September 16 last year. Heads of the two SCO bodies — the secretariat and the SCO RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure) also attended the virtual summit whose theme is “Towards a SECURE SCO’. The SECURE acronym was coined by Mr. Modi at the 2018 SCO summit and it stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan became its permanent member along with India in 2017. Meanwhile, India’s association with the SCO began in 2005 as an observer country. It became a full member state of SCO at the Astana summit in 2017.