Excellencies, Ministers of SCO Member States;
SCO Secretary-General and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure;
At the very outset, let me welcome the initiative of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or SCO to convene the Extraordinary Meeting of its Council of Foreign Ministers and express my pleasure to be a part of it. I would also like to congratulate the Foreign Minister of Pakistan for becoming the full-fledged member of this organization.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all Member States of the SCO for their support for India’s membership.
India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region. We congratulate China on assumption of Chairmanship of SCO for 2017-18 and reiterate our commitment towards full and early implementation of the decisions of the SCO Summit Meeting held in Astana on 9 June 2017.
India’s own far-reaching journey of transformation gives pride of place to our people. Our national programmes of Clean Ganga, Renewable Energy, Digital India, Smart Cities, Housing for All and Skill India are laying the basis for inclusive development. SCO countries can deepen partnership for win-win results using the springboard of our national experiences.
Connectivity with SCO countries is India’s priority. We want connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between our societies. For this, respect for sovereignty is essential. Inclusivity, transparency and sustainability are imperative. Our involvement with the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Chabahar Agreement and our decision to join the Ashgabat Agreement are all relevant.
India strongly condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. There can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism. We are determined to consistently strengthen cooperation within the SCO framework and to work together to seek comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security.
In this regard, commitment towards continued discussion on regional security architecture in the region under the framework of the SCO and SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure is of great significance. It will contribute to achieving long-term development and common prosperity of the region.
I take this opportunity to reiterate that India, as a member of the SCO, would cooperate extensively in further consolidation of SCO as an effective regional platform.
We are therefore, committed to step up coordinated efforts to counter common challenges and threats and to deepen dialogue and cooperation in various spheres. I look forward to joining all of you in this process and showcasing India’s capabilities. Once again, Excellencies, I congratulate the Chair on organization of this important event, which gives an impetus to the collective resolve to impart a fresh dynamism to SCO.