V K Singh to represent India at SCO meeting in China

Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh will represent India at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in China next week which will also be attended by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Officials here said General Singh will lead the Indian delegation at the meeting to be held at Zengzhou on December 14-15 to be presided over by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Other than Singh and Sharif, the meeting will be attended by Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariyev, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Tajik Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda and First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustam Azimov.

During the 15th SCO summit held in Russian city of Ufa  this July, leaders approved a development strategy until 2025.

The Ufa meeting formally approved proposal to admit observer states India and Pakistan to become regular members.

Officials say the process of admission will take some time.

Besides India and Pakistan, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and  Mongolia will take part in the meeting as observers.

Attendees also include representatives from international organisations, including the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet government leaders of SCO member states on the sidelines of the meeting, official media here reported.

A number of resolutions will be passed and agreements to be signed against the backdrop of economic pressure and terrorism threats, Chinese vice foreign minister Cheng Guoping told media here early this week.

Prime ministers of the six SCO member states, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, will sign a host of all-round cooperation and SCO internal affairs resolutions, and witness the signing of cooperation deals including SCO member states’ customs cooperation plan from 2016 to 2021, Cheng said.

The meeting, will discuss SCO cooperation in trade, investment, finance, transportation and culture.

A statement will be made on regional economic cooperation, reiterating support for regional cooperation including the Belt and Road, Cheng said.

Trade, industrial cooperation, infrastructure and finance will be priority areas, Cheng said.

Cheng said SCO leaders will analyse SCO cooperation and exchange opinions on regional economic cooperation.

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