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India to host SCO summit as Chair on July 4

2023-11-30 18:57:38source:news

India will host the 22nd summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for the first time under its chairmanship, in a virtual format in July, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday. Heads of state of all member-countries, including Russia, China and Pakistan, have been invited, the ministry said in a statement.

India to host SCO summit as Chair on July 4

Earlier supposed to be an in-person event, the event will be held on July 4 and will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India to host SCO summit as Chair on July 4

The eight-member group’s defence and foreign ministers attended in-person meetings in India earlier this year.

India to host SCO summit as Chair on July 4

In addition to member-countries such as China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, India has invited Iran, Belarus and Mongolia as Observer States, the MEA stated. “As per SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair. Heads of the two SCO Bodies — the Secretariat and the SCO RATS — will also be present,” it stated.

Heads of six international and regional organisations — the UN, ASEAN, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA — have also been invited. India has named the upcoming summit ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’.

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“SECURE”, an acronym coined by Prime Minister Modi at the 2018 SCO Summit. stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment. “These themes have been highlighted during our Chairmanship of SCO,” the MEA stated.

As the Chair, India has set up “new pillars” of cooperation within the bloc, such as Startups and Innovation; Traditional Medicine; Digital Inclusion; Youth Empowerment; and Shared Buddhist Heritage, the statement said. It added that India has worked towards fostering greater people-to-people ties that celebrate the historical and civilisational bonds between the nations, like the various sociocultural events hosted by Varanasi under the framework of the first SCO Cultural and Tourist Capital for 2022-23.

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India has hosted 134 meetings and events, including 14 ministerial-level meetings, under its chairmanship.

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