On October 11, 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj commenced her 2-day visit to Tajikistan to attend the 2-day SCO Council of Heads of Government Meeting.
- On her visit to Tajikistan, Sushma Swaraj greeted in Sanskrit language on her arrival in Dushanbe.
- Her visit involved her attending a two-day conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)’s Council of Heads of Government.
- This was the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of SCO in June 2017.
- It is the first major meeting since Kyrgyzstan took over as chair of the Organization.
- On the sidelines of the SCO meeting, EAM also met Chief Executive of Afghanistan Dr Abdullah.
- She also interacted with the Indian community in Tajikistan.
Meeting with Foreign Minister of Tajikistan:
On October 11, 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held bilateral meeting with Tajikistan counterpart Sirojiddin Muhriddin in Dushanbe.
i. Discussions included stepping up bilateral ties in areas of:
- Science and Technology,
- Information Technology,
- Defence and security,
- Health and
The 17th Council of Heads of Government meeting:
On October 11, 2018, External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj took part in the 17th Council of Heads of Government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Dushanbe.
i. It focused on discussing prospects for further development of SCO and in-depth views on current international and regional issues.
ii. The SCO meeting consisted of a restricted format and an extended format. It started with a joint call on the President of Tajikistan Mr. Emomali Rahmon.
iii. In the Restricted format meeting, EAM spoke of the need to join hands to:
Fight terrorism, address climate change and promote connectivity & regional peace.
iv. In the Extended format meeting on behalf of India, the EAM announced the following:
- Signing of the Protocol of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group on the sidelines of the Qingdao Summit,
- Co-hosting the next meeting of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group in India, with Afghanistan,
- Re-iterating India’s pledge to eliminate single-use plastics by 2022,
- Acknowledging the first meeting of the Heads of Railways of the SCO Member States held in September in Uzbekistan,
- As per PM’s announcement, India would host the SCO exhibition on ‘Shared Buddhist Heritage’ in 2019,
- Acknowledging the successful completion of ‘SCO Peace Mission 2018’.
- India’s support to SCO Qingdao Summit Leaders’ “Appeal to Youth” against radicalization of youth.
- Last year, CHG meeting was held in Sochi, Russia and was also attended by EAM.
- Also, the Prime Minister led the official delegation to the SCO Summit of Heads of State in Qingdao, China on 9-10 June 2018.
- The SCO CHG meeting is a forum that enables India to engage with SCO member countries and Observer states of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.
♦ Full Form: Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
♦ India and Pakistan has joined the organization as full time members from 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
♦ Number of Member Countries are: 8 (present), 4 (Observer states).
♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China
♦ The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
♦ Secretary General: Rashid Alimov.
♦ Capital: Dushanbe.
♦ Currency: Tajikistani somoni.
♦ President: Emomali Rahmon.
♦ Prime Minister: Kohir Rasulzada.