No bilateral-meetings between Indian, Pakistani Ministers at SCO in Beijing
(Sourced from PTI)
There will be no bilateral meetings between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with their Pakistani counterparts at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) ministerial meets to be held in Beijing on 24 April. "There will be no meetings with their Pakistan counterparts," the official sources stated, ruling out any planned meetings between the Indian and Pakistani ministers. Here's more.
Sushma Swaraj who arrived in Beijing today will take part in the Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the SCO to be held on April 24. The same day, Nirmala Sitharaman will take part the SCO Defense Ministers' Meeting.
The SCO ministerial meetings, part of the preparations for SCO Summit to be held in China's Qingdao in June, have become prominent as they are the first such meetings after India and Pakistan were admitted into the eight-member group last year. Both events are to be attended by the respective ministers from Pakistan. A host of issues are expected to figure in the meetings.
Relations between India and Pakistan turned frosty after the Pathankot terror attack in Jan'16 and another strike by terrorists on an Army camp in Uri of Jammu and Kashmir in Sep'16. The SCO, in which China and Russia play an influential role, specializes in regional security, counter-terrorism, and related issues. The organization consists of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said terrorism-related issues will be discussed at SCO Foreign Ministers' Meeting. "Security has been a priority of the SCO since its inception," she said, defending Pakistan after PM Narendra Modi termed it as "terror export factory" in London recently. The meeting will see participants exchanging views on relevant issues, along with major international and regional issues, Hua said.
While Modi is scheduled to attend the SCO Summit, officials say Pakistan is expected to be represented by its President Mamnoon Hussain as its Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had recently attended the Boao Forum for Asia in the Chinese city of Boao.