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World leaders to review prospects of multilateral cooperation at SCO Summit in Astana: MEA

World leaders are set to review the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation at the SCO Summit on July 4. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced this on Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will lead the Indian delegation to Astana for the 24th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State, which will be held under Kazakhstan’s presidency.

“At the Summit, the leaders are expected to review the organization’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation. Topical issues of regional and international importance are also expected to be discussed at the meeting”, the MEA said in a press release.

India’s priorities in the SCO are guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a ‘SECURE’ SCO. The MEA explained, “SECURE stands for Security, Economic cooperation, Connectivity, Unity, Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Environmental protection.”

Under its first-ever presidency of the SCO, India hosted the 23rd Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State virtually on July 4 last year.

Kazakhstan has taken over the SCO presidency from India. This year’s host, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has proposed several initiatives, including the establishment of a joint investment fund.

In a telephone conversation with President Tokayev on June 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his full support for the upcoming summit’s success in Astana. The two leaders reiterated their commitment to advancing bilateral strategic partnerships. Modi expressed confidence in Kazakhstan’s leadership to further regional cooperation.

“Had a good conversation with President of Kazakhstan H.E. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Thanked him for warm wishes on the success in the elections,” PM Modi wrote in a post on X.

“Reiterated the commitment to advance our Strategic Partnership with Kazakhstan. Conveyed India’s full support for the success of the upcoming SCO Summit,” he added.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020-2021, SCO summits were held virtually. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.

The main goals of the SCO are to promote effective cooperation in politics, trade, and economy, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, tourism, environmental protection, and other fields.

The organization also aims to strengthen mutual confidence and good-neighborly relations among member countries, make joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security, and stability in the region, and work towards establishing a new, democratic, just, and rational political and economic international order, according to the official statement.

(With ANI inputs)

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