Press Trust of india

Chinese Premier to host SCO council of heads of government meet on Tuesday

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Beijing: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will host the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) via video link on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said here on Monday.

Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.

Premier Li, who is set to retire early next year following the major reshuffle of officials following the recent once-in-a-five-year congress of the ruling Communist Party of China, will host the meeting via video link.

According to officials, India will be represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the online meeting.

The heads of government and representatives of SCO member states and observer states, heads of SCO permanent organs, the SCO Entrepreneurs’ Committee and the SCO Interbank Consortium, and representatives of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and other international institutions and organisations will attend the meeting upon invitation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here.

The SCO heads of the state held their first in-person summit after two years at Samarkand in Uzbekistan last month which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

India is the current chair of the SCO Heads of the State and expected to hold the summit of the eight-member grouping in the middle of next year.

Zhao said the SCO over the years has deepened cooperation in various areas, played an important role in maintaining the security and stability of the Eurasian continent and boosting the development and prosperity of the regional countries.

He said the Samarkand Summit delivered fruitful results. The SCO can demonstrate a strong sense of responsibility and contribute even more strongly on issues relating to national security and development interests.

Tuesday’s meeting will focus on the exchange of views on the implementation of the outcome of the Samarkand Summit to come up with the new idea to advance security, and economic and cultural cooperation among the member countries, he said.

“We believe the upcoming meeting will play an active part in helping countries to respond to risks and challenges and promote economic recovery development and deliver tangible benefits to the countries and the people in the region,” Zhao said.

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