News Desk, Press24 News, New Delhi
Published by: Dev Kashyap
Updated Wed, 28 Jul 2021 03:17 AM IST
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh (file photo)
– Photo : ANI
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Issues of defense cooperation among SCO member countries will be discussed in the annual meeting. A communiqué is expected to be issued after consultations with top leaders of several countries. Rajnath Singh’s address in the meeting has been fixed for Wednesday, July 28. During this, he is also expected to meet his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe in Dushanbe.
According to sources, although the bilateral meeting between the two defense ministers is “not yet scheduled”, India is not against the discussion if China wants to. “The possibility of a bilateral meeting with China cannot be ruled out,” a source said.
“Be that as it may, Rajnath Singh, during his address at the Defense Ministers’ meeting at the SCO on Wednesday, will emphasize the need for peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue in the Ladakh region, including war-ravaged Afghanistan, he said.
As on July 14, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO countries in Dushanbe and had a one-hour bilateral meeting with him. During this meeting, the External Affairs Minister had told that unilateral change in the status quo of the border area is not acceptable to India.
The meeting between the two defense ministers could take place ahead of the 12th round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China. The last military-level talks between China and India were held on April 9, after which another talks to defuse tensions will be held “within the next few days” after a long gap. Significantly, since April-May last year, the military confrontation between the two countries is going on in eastern Ladakh.
During the Dushanbe visit, Rajnath Singh is likely to hold talks with his Tajik counterpart Col General Sherali Mirzo on bilateral issues and many issues of mutual interest. There is a possibility that Rajnath Singh can also meet the defense ministers of Central Asian countries.
Let us tell you that earlier in the SCO meeting held in Moscow in September 2020, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had targeted China and Pakistan without naming them in his address. The Defense Minister had said that India condemns terrorism in all its forms and its supporters. Without naming China, Rajnath Singh had said that non-aggression between members is necessary for a peaceful, stable and secure SCO region. Apart from India and Russia, the Defense Minister of China also participated in this meeting.
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