STORY: Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday (December 01) called on members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) security bloc to make coordinated efforts to combat militancy.
While addressing the 16th meeting of Council of SCO heads of governments in Sochi, Swaraj said New Delhi with work together with member countries to “seek comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.”
Earlier an observer, India, along with arch-rival Pakistan, became a full member of the SCO in July 2015.
Swaraj said connectivity with Afghanistan was a priority sector for India and it had improved with operationalisation of the air freight corridor between Kabul, Kandahar and New Delhi. She said greater involvement between central Asian countries would help in enhancing trade and investment in the region.
The cargo service aims to improve landlocked Afghanistan’s links to markets abroad and boost the growth prospects of its agricultural and carpet industries while it battles a deadly Taliban insurgency.
Swaraj is on a four-day-visit to Russia to represent India at the summit of China-dominated security grouping.
Set up in 2001 to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from Afghanistan, SCO groups China, Russia, India, Pakistan and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Belarus have been observers.