EAM Jaishankar to visit Tajikistan for SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meet

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New Delhi, Jul 12 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Tajikistan on July 13-14 during which he will attend the meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Council of Foreign Ministers and the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.

The SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting will discuss the achievements of the organisation as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its formation this year, the MEA said in a statement.

It will also assess the preparation for the upcoming SCO Council of Heads of States, which will take place on September 16-17 in Dushanbe, and exchange views on current international and regional issues, it said.

During the visit, the external affairs minister will also attend the meeting of the SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan on July 14. This meeting will also see the participation of the Afghanistan government.

Jaishankar's visit to Tajikistan comes at the invitation of Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin, according to the MEA.

The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.

India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. PTI ASK ANB ANB

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