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India to host SCO Def Ministers’ meeting on Apr 28, Chinese Def Minister to attend

Iranian Defence Minister Brig Gen Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani is also to participate in the SCO Defence Ministers' meeting, according to reports.

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New Delhi: India will host the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting in New Delhi on April 28 that will see the participation of Chinese Defence Minister General Li Shangfu and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, besides the defence ministers of the other member countries.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is to hold bilaterals with many of his counterparts on the sidelines.

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According to reports, Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Asif will take part in the meeting in virtual format.

The Chinese Embassy in India confirmed the maiden visit to India of the Chinese Defence Minister. It is the first time that the Chinese Defence Minister will be in India following the 2020 Galwan Valley clash, and it comes days after the two sides held the 18th round of Corps Commander talks at Moldo on the Chinese side in eastern Ladakh in efforts to resolve the border stand off.

The Chinese Embassy said that “State Councilor and Defense Minister General Li Shangfu will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Meeting to be held on April 27 and 28 in New Delhi upon invitation

“General Li will address the meeting and meet with heads of delegations from relevant countries to exchange views on the international and regional situation as well as defense and security cooperation.”

Iranian Defence Minister Brig Gen Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani is also to participate in the SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting, according to reports.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. The SCO membership includes Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan besides India. Apart from the member states, two observer countries Belarus and Iran will also be participating in the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting on April 28, an official statement said.

The Defence Ministers will discuss amongst other issues matters concerning regional peace and security, counter terrorism efforts within SCO and an effective multilateralism.

The theme of India’s Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is ‘SECURE-SCO’.

India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions in the region. The ongoing engagement with SCO has helped India promote its relations with the countries in the region with which India has shared civilizational linkages, and is considered India’s extended neighbourhood, it added.

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