External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will attend a two-day conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Tajik capital Dushanbe beginning Thursday, which is expected to focus on boosting cooperation in fighting terrorism, besides deliberating on pressing regional and global issues.
The meeting of the SCO’s Council of Heads of Government (CHG) is also likely to review situation in Syria, Afghanistan and Korean peninsula, officials said.
“The External Affairs Minister’s programme in Dushanbe will include participation in the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting, both in the restricted as well as extended formats,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
It will be the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of SCO in June 2017.
“The leaders will be discussing prospects for further development of SCO and will exchange in-depth views on current international and regional issues,” the MEA said.
India became a full member of the the China-dominated grouping last year and New Delhi’s entry into it is expected to increase the bloc’s heft in regional geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.
India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
Along with India, Pakistan was also granted membership of SCO last year.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the official delegation to the SCO Summit in Chinese city of Qingdao in June.