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Rajnath Singh Attends SCO Defence Ministers Conclave 2021 held at Dushanbe, Tajikistan

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Dushanbe, Capital of Tajikistan from July 27-29, 2021 to participate in the annual meeting of the Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states.

  • During his visit, he met Col General Sherali Mirzo, Defence Minister of Tajikistan.
  • He also reviewed the progress of the key Highway being built by India’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Dushanbe.

Highlights from the Meeting

i.The SCO Defence Ministers Meeting 2021 was held on 28th July 2021. It was chaired by Tajikistan (2021 SCO Presidency Chair).

  • The Ministers exchanged views on issues of international and domestic security, including the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
  • Peace Mission 2021’, a Joint Counterterrorist Command-and-Staff Training Exercise to be held between SCO countries in Russia in September, 2021 will help in fighting international terrorist organisations.
  • Russia invited SCO members to take part in the West-2021 joint strategic exercise to be held by Belarus and Russia was welcomed by the participants.
  • The Ministers approved a new Plan for Cooperation between the SCO Defence Ministries for 2022-23.

ii.2021 was declared the Year of SCO Culture. To commemorate this, a festival of military orchestras ‘Fanfares of Peace’ is scheduled to be held in Pakistan on October 18-23, 2021.

iii.The next meeting of the Defence Ministers was agreed to be held in Uzbekistan in 2022.

Rajnath Singh reviews Progress of Highway Construction by BRO

Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of the key Highway being built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Dushanbe (Connecting Ayni Roundabout to Chortut).

  • The road is being built under India’s Finance Grant Assistance Worth USD 46.5 million.
  • India has already developed the Ayni airbase near Dushanbe in collaboration with Tajikistan.
  • The Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan operated by the Indian Air Force in collaboration with the Tajik Air Force is India’s 1st military base outside its territory.

Rajnath Singh holds Talks with Defence Ministers of Belarus, Tajikistan

During the sidelines of the conclave, Rajnath Singh held bilateral talks with Lt Gen Viktor Khrenin, Defence Minister of Belarus. Both ministers discussed bilateral defence cooperation and other regional security challenges.

  • Rajnath Singh also met the Defence Minister of Tajikistan, Col General Sherali Mirzo. The two ministers discussed bilateral and other issues of mutual interest.

SCO Forum of Governance held in Beijing

The Opening ceremony of the SCO Forum of Governance and Leadership was held in Beijing, China. It was co-organized by China National Academy of Governance (CNAG) & SCO Secretariat.

  • The meeting was attended by representatives from SCO member states, observer states, and dialogue partners
  • The participants shared their views on governance and prospects for future cooperation within the SCO.
  • The meeting is part of the event to mark the 20th anniversary of SCO.

Recent Related News:

i.June 25, 2021, India’s NSA, Ajit Doval attended the 16th meeting of Security Council Secretaries of SCO held at Dushanbe, Capital of Tajikistan.

ii.On November 10, 2020, the virtual 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State (CHS) 2020 was chaired by President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin where Indian Delegation was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

Secretary-General – Vladimir Norov
Headquarters – Beijing, China
Chairmanship of 2021 – Tajikistan
Total Members – 8 (China,India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)