Nirmala Sitharaman, the current Defence Minister of India held a bilateral meeting with General Wei Fenghe, Honourable Defence Minister of China, in which they discussed regional and bilateral security issues. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Meet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
- Nirmala Sitharaman was in Kyrgyzstan on a 3-day visit to attend the SCO meet and to hold bilateral meetings with the member-countries on the summit’s sidelines.
- In the SCO ministerial meeting, the 8 member-states discussed on the different facets to raise cooperation to curb terrorism.
- The present SCO meeting is being held before the SCO summit, which would take place from 14th June to 15th June, 2019.
- Foreign Minister will go to Kyrgyzstan on 21st-22nd of May for SCO Foreign Minister’s meet, elaborating on India’s interest in developing a partnership with the Eurasian region and deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).
- On the sidelines of SCO defence Ministers meet, Sitharaman Sitharaman met her Russian, Chinese and Kyrgyz counterparts. She held a bilateral meeting with General Sergey Shoygu, Honourable Defence Minister of Russia.
- She also held a meeting with Major General Raimberdi Duishenbiev, Chief of General Staff of Kyrgyz Armed Forces.
- For the first time in 2018, India participated in the SCO Defence Ministers meeting. Along with India, Pakistan was also granted membership of SCO in 2017.
- The first joint exercise of SCO was conducted by Central Military Commission of Russia at Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk. It involved logical level operations in an international counter insurgency or counter terrorism environment under the SCO Charter.
- The SCO, widely regarded as the “alliance of the East” was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Headquarters of SCO lies in Beijing, China.