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SCO summit to promote cooperation, experts say

By APARAJIT CHAKRABORTY in New Delhi | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-07-03 10:03

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, to be held virtually on Tuesday, is expected to further strengthen cooperation and ensure regional stability in the region, analysts say.

Leaders of China, Russia and Pakistan will attend the summit with the other SCO member states. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the 23rd summit for the first time since India became a full member of the grouping in 2017.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in a daily briefing on Friday: "In a world marked by change and disorder and fraught with increasing instability, uncertainties and unpredictable factors, regional countries as well as other members of the international community look to the SCO to play a bigger role in safeguarding regional security and promoting common development."

On May 30, India announced it would chair the SCO summit virtually, not in person, as scheduled earlier.

Srikanth Kondapalli, dean of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said issues such as counterterrorism, energy security, regional stability, ensuring stability in the Eurasian region and multipolarity are likely to be discussed during the summit.

Membership issue

The summit may address the new membership issue, which is of interest to a number of countries, observers say.

Modi, meanwhile, on Friday reiterated his call for dialogue and diplomacy to find a solution to the Ukraine conflict as he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday.

Putin informed Modi about recent developments in Russia. Both leaders agreed to remain in touch and continue to make efforts to further strengthen the partnership between the two countries, the statement said.

On Friday, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif confirmed he will attend the summit, along with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Sharif's participation in the summit illustrates the high importance that Pakistan attaches to the SCO, which is an important forum for regional security and prosperity, and enhanced engagement with the region, the Pakistan foreign ministry said in a statement.

India on Tuesday inaugurated an exquisitely designed New Delhi Hall at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing. The New Delhi Hall is conceived to be a mini-India, showcasing various facets of Indian culture, Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar said in his address while inaugurating the hall virtually.

India has hosted 134 meetings and events, including 14 ministerial-level meetings, under its presidency of the grouping.

The writer is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

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