Repeated attempts being made to rake bilateral issues at SCO summit: PM

New Delhi (NVI): While addressing a virtual session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that repeated attempts are being made to bring bilateral issues into SCO agenda which goes against the SCO Charter and Shanghai Spirit.

“India has always been committed to work according to the principles laid out in #SCO charter. It is unfortunate that repeated attempts are being made to unnecessarily bring bilateral issues into the SCO agenda which violate the SCO Charter and Shanghai Spirit,” PM Modi said.

“Such attempts are in contrast with the spirit of consensus and cooperation which define SCO,” the Prime Minister said in his around 9 minutes long speech.

On the occasion, the PM also delivered a stern message to China and Pakistan, saying that all member nations should respect each other’s territorial integrity.

The PM reiterated India’s strong stand against terrorism, drugs and money laundering. “India firmly believes in peace, security and prosperity. We have always raised our voice against terrorism, smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money laundering,” PM said.

“India has remained firm in its commitment to work under the SCO as per the principles laid down in the SCO Charter,” he added.

The Prime Minister also said that as the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, India will be extending all possible help to other countries to help combat the pandemic. “During the difficult times of pandemic, India pharma industry supplied essential medicines to over 150 countries. As the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturing country, India will use its capacity to help entire humanity in fighting the crisis,” PM said.

He further said that India will participate as a non-permanent member in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from 2021. “I expect support from all the SCO member countries,” he said.

Calling for a “reformed multilateralism” that reflects today’s global realities, the PM suggested that countries also discuss topics such as “expectations of all stakeholders, contemporary challenges, and human welfare”.

The PM’s virtual address at the 20th summit of SCO Council of Heads of State comes amid the India-China border tensions. This is the first time that the annual meeting was held virtually due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Interestingly, this was also the first encounter between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping since the border stand-off between India and China. The two leaders participated in the virtual interaction at the SCO summit today. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present.

PM Modi will also share a virtual platform with the Chinese President on November 17 for the BRICS meeting and on November 21-22 for the G-20 summit.

Today’s virtual meeting was attended by eight SCO members: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.