External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S Jaishankar on Friday stated that his bilateral discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Council (SCO) Summit were “useful.” In a Twitter post, the EAM further informed that the comprehensive meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the SCO group was “productive”.

“Departing Tashkent after a productive SCO FMs gathering…Conversation on the sidelines with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia was also useful,” Dr. Jaishankar wrote along with a picture of himself boarding an outbound flight from the Uzbek capital.

Departing Tashkent after a productive SCO FMs gathering.

Bilateral meetings with Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrgyz and Kazakh counterparts advanced the India-Central Asia Summit process.

Conversation on the sidelines with FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia was also useful. pic.twitter.com/BgmHprPPkC — Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) July 30, 2022

During the two-day visit on July 28, Dr. Jaishankar also held bilateral talks with his Uzbek, Tajik, Kyrgyz, and Kazakh counterparts on the sidelines of the advanced India-Central Asia Summit process, he informed. On July 28, he chaired a meeting in Tashkent with Indian Ambassadors in Central Asian countries. “Appreciated their efforts towards strengthening India-Central Asia relations,” he said in a Twitter post.

It is pertinent to mention that EAM Jaishankar did not hold bilateral talks with his Pakistani and Chinese counterparts Bilawal Bhutto and Wang Yi, respectively while both were present at the SCO FMs Summit. Dr. Jaishankar “reiterated India’s position on Afghanistan and highlighted our humanitarian support” for the vulnerable Afghan population at the just-ended SCO Summit. He also stressed the potential for Iran’s Chabahar Port for the “SCO’s economic future.” He further raised issues relating to fuel and food crisis stemming from the ongoing “Ukraine conflict,” calling for immediate addressing of the problem. “The response required includes resilience and diverse supply chains as well as well-informed multilateralism,” he emphasised.

PM Modi likely to meet Xi, and Sharif at SCO Summit in Sep

At the SCO Foreign Ministers’ Summit the top diplomats of China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and China shared mutual concerns over international and regional issues, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. The leaders also mulled over the forthcoming SCO Summit, setting precedent for the meeting of the Heads of State of the aforementioned countries in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The said meeting is supposed to take place in September.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are likely to meet at the September Summit for the first time in six years. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will also be in attendance at the much-awaited meeting. However, no structured conversations have been confirmed by the MEA yet, diplomatic sources said that any requests for bilateral meetings from Pakistan will not be turned down.

(Image: @DrSJaishankar/Twitter)