Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets Defence Minister of Kazakhstan, Colonel General Ruslan Zhaksylykov | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday held bilateral meetings with his Kazakh, Tajikistani counterparts on the sidelines of the SCO Defence Ministers' Meeting in New Delhi, according to an official statement.
Singh held separate bilateral meetings with Kazakhstan Defence Minister Colonel General Ruslan Zhaxylykov and the Minister of Defence of Tajikistan Colonel General Sherali Mirzo, the statement said.
The entire spectrum of defence cooperation with the two countries was reviewed during the meetings, with focus on identifying avenues to expand mutually beneficial collaboration. Issues of mutual interest were also discussed, according to the official statement.
Rajnath Singh on Thursday also met State Councillor and Minister of National Defence of China General Li Shangfu in New Delhi.
The two Ministers had frank discussions about the developments in the India-China border areas as well as bilateral relations. Singh categorically conveyed that the development of relations between India and China is premised on the prevalence of peace and tranquillity at the borders.
He added that all issues at the LAC need to be resolved in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and commitments. He reiterated that violation of existing agreements has eroded the entire basis of bilateral relations and disengagement at the border will logically be followed with de-escalation.
The theme of India's Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is 'Secure-SCO'. India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions in the region.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. The SCO members include Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan besides India. Apart from the member states, two observer countries Belarus and Iran will also be participating in the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting.