Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the 20th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The SCO summit is being held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping came face-to-face virtually during the summit. The SCO summit took place at a time when India and China, two of the members of the bloc, are engaged in a tense border standoff for over six months in eastern Ladakh.
Addressing the SCO, the prime minister said India strongly believed in peace, security and prosperity. “And we have always voiced opposition to terrorism, illegal arms smuggling, drugs and money laundering,” Modi said.
“India has remained firm in its commitment to work under the SCO as per the principles laid down in the charter,” the prime minister said.
It is unfortunate, the prime minister said, that there were unnecessary attempts to bringing bilateral issues in the SCO agenda, “which is in violation of SCO Charter and Shanghai spirit. Such efforts are contrary to the spirit of consensus and cooperation that defines SCO”.
Saying “India has strong cultural and historical ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries,” Prime Minister Modi added, “India believes that to enhance connectivity it is important that we move forward while respecting one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“In this very difficult time of the unprecedented pandemic, India’s pharmaceutical industry has sent essential medicines to more than 150 countries,” Modi said.
“As the world’s largest vaccine producing country, India will use its vaccine production and distribution capacity to help the whole humanity in fighting this crisis,” said the prime minister.
Reminding the SCO that the United Nations had completed 75 years, Modi said, “but despite many achievements, the real aim of the UN is still incomplete.”
Member states of the SCO was convened at the highest level on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Russia. All member states, including China and Pakistan, attended it.
Major leaders who attended the SCO meet are Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and leaders of four Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India became a member of SCO in 2017.