Modi meets Putin, says today’s era is not of war
SAMARKAND, Sept 16:
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) plans to prepare a single list of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups whose activities are banned on the territories of the member states, with an aim to counter the threat posed by them to the region.
In a joint declaration issued at the end of the annual Summit of the eight-member bloc in the historic Uzbek city of Samarkand, the leaders of the SCO member states, strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
“In accordance with their national laws and on the basis of consensus, the member states will strive to develop common principles and approaches to the formation of a single list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organisations whose activities are prohibited on the territories of the SCO member states,” said the Samarkand declaration signed by the leaders of the member states on Friday.
Briefing reporters later, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that each of the SCO member states was very very clear in recognising the threat that this challenge poses to the region and beyond.
To counter the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, the SCO members called for the compliance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons. “They stress the importance of the early destruction of all declared stockpiles of chemical weapons,” the declaration said.
On Afghanistan, the member states called for creating an inclusive government in the war-torn country, which is now ruled by the Taliban.
“The member states consider it extremely important to establish an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the participation of representatives of all ethnic, religious and political groups of Afghan society,” the declaration said.
The grouping also advocated the formation of Afghanistan as an independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful state, free from terrorism, war and drugs.
The leaders of the SCO endorsed the holy city of Varanasi as the first ever tourist and cultural capital of the grouping for the year 2022-23.
Uzbekistan handed over the rotating presidency of the grouping to India for the year 2022-23.
“Prime Minister Modi thanked all the member states for endorsing Varanasi as the first ever SCO tourist and cultural capital during the upcoming year 2022-23,” Kwatra said.
“This is a befitting recognition of the historic city and opens the door for greater cultural and people-to-people ties between India and the region,” he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated India for taking over the rotating Presidency of the Beijing-based eight-member regional grouping.
“Here I wish to express China’s congratulations to India on assuming the next SCO presidency. We will, together with other member states, support India during its presidency,” he said at the summit.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine soon, saying “today’s era is not of war” even as he called for finding ways to address the global food and energy security crisis.
In a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in this Silk Road city, Modi also underlined the importance of “democracy, dialogue and diplomacy” while calling for an early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine.
“Today the biggest worry before the world, especially developing countries, is food security, fuel security, fertilisers. We must find ways on these problems and you will also have to consider it. We will get an opportunity to talk about these issues,” Modi said in his opening remarks.
It was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders after the Ukraine conflict began in February.
“I know today’s era is not of war. We discussed this issue with you on phone several times, that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue touch the entire world. We will have the opportunity to talk today about how we can move forward on the road of peace in the coming days,” Modi said.
In his opening remarks, President Putin said the ties between India and Russia continued to develop “very rapidly” and both sides are actively engaged at international platforms on key issues.
“It is important that we constantly coordinate our positions,” he said.
Putin also referred to increase in bilateral trade turnover.
“The trade turnover is growing, in particular due to the supplies, as you asked to do, of additional deliveries of Russian fertilizers to the Indian market,” Putin said. (PTI)