SCO Defence Ministers Meeting: India has completed 500 projects in Afghanistan, says Rajnath Singh


Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is on a three-day visit to Dushanbe, Tajikistan from July 27-29, 2021, where he attended the Defence Ministers Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

During his first visit to the neighboring country, Singh at the SCO Meeting said that India supports and participates in the SCO activities, including defence cooperation programme, reflecting the commitment to work closely within the SCO framework.

The SCO has evolved as an international organization of significance and the strength of the SCO lies in the fact that member states participate in cooperation programme.

Today’s meeting is a step towards strengthening stability and security in the region and further development of multilateral cooperation within the SCO format, Singh said.

Tajikistan is the Chair of the SCO meetings in 2021. Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had attended the SCO Foreign Affairs Meeting on July 14, 2021, where he presented the Indian perspective on the security situation in Afghanistan and post-COVID recovery among key concerns.

SCO Defence Ministers Meeting: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Speech: Key Highlights

India has completed 500 projects in Afghanistan

•India gives high priority to generating trust in the security domain within the SCO as well as bolstering ties with SCO partners bilaterally. “India reiterates its resolve to work within the SCO framework for creating and maintaining a peaceful, secure, and stable region,” said Singh.

•Terrorism is the most serious threat to international peace and security. Any act of terror and support for any such acts, including cross border terrorism, committed by whomsoever, wherever, is a crime against humanity, he said.

•The geo-strategic location of India is a quality that makes the country both, a Eurasian land power and a stakeholder in the Indo-Pacific region. “Our intent and aspirations are therefore focused on prosperity and development of the entire region,” he said.

•With the same spirit, India helps the people of Afghanistan, which is facing devastation and violence for decades. “So far, India has completed 500 projects in Afghanistan and continuing with some more with the total development of USD 3 billion,” he said.

Non-traditional security issues and efforts to deal with them

•While extending his condolences to nearly 4.2 million victims worldwide, Singh noted that how non-traditional security issues like pandemics, food security, climate change, and water security can jeopardize the national and international landscape.

•Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), an initiative by India focuses on promoting disaster resilient infrastructure, boosting infrastructure risk management, financing, standards, recovery to deal with disaster relief issues, and humanitarian assistance.

•International Solar Alliance (ISA) is another initiative for promoting solar energy generation for combating issues related to climate change. India has shared its plan to install 280 GW of solar energy capacity by 2030.

•India is working on producing over 2.5 billion doses of vaccines between August and the end of 2021 to be able to vaccinate approximately 900 million Indians and offer vaccine assistance to other countries during the pandemic.

Also read: Unilateral change of status quo of border area not acceptable to India: EAM Jaishankar to Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of SCO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2021

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