Press Trust of india

Combating terrorism, extremism to be focus of SCO summit

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Beijing, Jun 4:  Evolving effective ways to deal with growing challenges of terrorism as well as extremism and boosting trade will be the key focus at the annual summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Qingdao on June 9-10 which will be attended by a host of world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources said India’s national coordinator for the SCO is here to finalise the draft of the summit’s declaration and that New Delhi’s efforts will be to put its concerns over cross border terrorism in the outcome document.

India has been raising the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in various multilateral forums with an aim to build pressure on Islamabad to dismantle the terror infrastructure operating from that country.

Sources said ahead of the summit, officials of the SCO member countries are holding hectic parleys to finalise the Qingdao declaration.

India’s National Coordinator of the SCO Madhumita Hazarika Bhagat is currently in Beijing, taking part in the discussions.

Sources indicated that India’s focus would be to include its concerns over cross border terrorism in the final outcome document but it may be resisted by Pakistan which can manage support from other countries.

The formulation in that case may be that terrorism will not be tolerated in any manifestation, they said.

“Cooperation to combat terrorism, extremism and separatism apart from strengthening trade ties will be among the agreements likely to be inked during the summit of the eight-member grouping at Qingdao,” SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov told PTI.

About six to seven main agreements were expected to be signed at the summit. There will be a dozen documents which will be the product of the summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is also expected to attend the summit.

Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale said since its admission into the SCO last year, India has been taking part in all its activities.

“The aim will be to step up the engagement and collaboration among the grouping,” he told PTI here.

Bambawale further said, “The summit will also ensure that the world will be governed by rules-based international order in all spheres. There will be more openness and transparency in various initiatives taken by countries in multilateral activities,” he said.

He said India’s inclusion at the SCO has further consolidated the group’s standing in the world.

Sources said Prime Minister Modi is expected to have around half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of the Central Asian countries.

They said Modi will have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The meeting will take place weeks after the two leaders held an informal summit in Wuhan during which they exchanged views on solidifying the relationship between the two Asian powers.

The sources said Modi and Xi are expected to take stock of implementation of decisions taken at the informal summit.

Modi had last month met Russian President Putin in an informal summit in Sochi.

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.

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