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SCO Meet: Jaishankar Discusses Ukraine With Russia; Bilateral With China Ends

Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto also arrived in Goa for the Meeting of SCO Council of Foreign Ministers

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After Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar kicked off his bilateral talks at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's (SCO) foreign minister's meeting, he held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the summit.

Subsequently, he entered bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang.

The Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is being held at a beach resort in Benaulim, in Goa, over 4 and 5 May.

What came from the discussions?

Accompanied by his delegation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Goa on Thursday morning, just a few hours after Russia accused Ukraine of an assassination attempt on President Vladimir Putin

Jaishankar and Lavrov held wide-ranging talks with Lavrov on overall bilateral cooperation, the conflict in Ukraine, and other global issues of mutual interest.

After his discussion with China's Qin Gang ended, Jaishankar said, "A detailed discussion with State Councillor and FM Qin Gang of China on our bilateral relationship. Focus remains on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas. Also discussed SCO, G20 and BRICS."

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Previously, the External Affairs Minister held talks with SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming. Following the discussion, he tweeted:

"Started my meetings at SCO CFM with a productive interaction with Secretary General Zhang Ming. Appreciate his support for India's SCO Presidency. Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to SECURE SCO."

Jaishankar added that the key focus areas of the summit are startups, youth empowerment, traditional medicine, science and technology.

The Indian foreign minister was set to take part in bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of China, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived in Goa to attend the Meeting of SCO Council of Foreign Ministers and said, "I am very happy to participate and lead the Pakistani delegation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and I expect the meeting to be a success,"

Earlier, Pakistan announced Bilawal Bhutto posted a video stating that he is on the way to attend the meeting and added, "My decision to attend this meeting illustrates Pakistan's strong commitment to the charter of SCO."

His visit is the first by any Pakistani leader since former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2014.

However, sources within the MEA told The Quint that the possibility of a bilateral discussion between Pakistan and India is not likely to be on the cards.

Meanwhile, it is expected that a proposal on settlement of trade in national currencies will in the works, but there has been no confirmation from officials.

The theme for India's Chairmanship of the SCO in 2023 is 'Secure-SCO' and attaches special importance to the meetings in the process of promoting multilateral discourse over issues of security, and political and economical importance.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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