Rajnath meets Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan counterparts in Moscow

New Delhi (NVI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today met his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to boost bilateral defence cooperation between India and the Central Asian countries.

Singh is currently in Moscow on a three-day visit to Russia, to attend the combined meeting of defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

In a tweet, the Defence Minister said he had a productive interaction with his Kazakh counterpart Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev.

“Productive interaction with the Defence Minister of Kazakhstan, Lieutenant General Nurlan Yermekbayev. We discussed ways to add further momentum to India-Kazakhstan defence cooperation,” Singh tweeted.

The Defence Minister said he also interacted with his Tajik counterpart Colonel General Sherali Mirzo on a wide spectrum of defence ties between the two countries.

“Had an extremely fruitful meeting with Defence Minister of Tajikistan, Colonel-General Sherali Mirzo in Moscow. Our talks included a wide spectrum of India-Tajikistan defence relations,” Rajnath Singh wrote.

He also met his Uzbek counterpart Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich in Moscow.

“I had a wonderful meeting with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Defence, Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich in Moscow today. Defence Cooperation remains an important pillar of India- Uzbekistan bilateral relations,” the Defence Minister said.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) comprises eight member states — India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The aim of SCO is to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.

Earlier, the Defence Minister held talks with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe on ways to ease escalating border tension in eastern Ladakh. During the meeting, he conveyed India’s position on the developments along the LAC, including in the Galwan valley in the Western sector of the India-China Border Areas, in the last few months.

This is Singh’s second visit to Moscow. He had earlier represented India at the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on June 24 that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi in the Second World War.

-RJV