Jaishankar likely to hold discussions with Chinese counterpart at SCO summit

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar is likely to hold discussions with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, being held at Tajikistan’s Dushanbe from Thursday, the MEA spokesperson said.

Jaishankar, who has reached the Tajik capital, will be holding bilateral talks with his counterparts from Tajikistan and Iran, Sirojiddin Muhriddin, and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, respectively.

At media briefing here, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “Our EAM will be there and hopefully we will be having number of bilateral meetings. I do not want to prejudge which one. I am not rule in or rule out any meetings. So let’s wait for what meetings take place.”

Responding to a question on the India-China standoff, he said India’s position was the same.

“We reiterate our position that completion of disengagement in the remaining areas can pave the way forward for two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration peace and tranquility and enable bilateral relations,” he said.

Bagchi also said that the SCO is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its foundation, and India is participating for the fourth time as a full member.

The spokesman also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Washington on September 24, and on the next day, will participate in the general debate at the UN General Assembly at its 76th session.

The theme for this year’s general debate is “Building resilience through hope to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations”.

While the PM will be in Washington, he will also have a bilateral meeting with US President Joe Biden, he added.

“We also look forward to bilateral meetings with other Quad leaders as well as bilateral meetings with some other leaders while he is in New York on September 25,” he said.

To a question on a missing Hindu in Afghanistan, Bagchi said: “We have seen a missing person’s report of an Indian national – Bansuri Lal in Kabul. We are in touch with all concerned. We have seen reports about local authorities undertaking investigation. We will continue to monitor situation and will tell you of any developments.”

On resumption of Operation Devi Shakti, the spokesperson said: “Until and unless operations resume at Kabul airport, it will be difficult to say how people will be evacuated. It will be easier once the operations resume. We are watching this, for the remaining Indians and Afghans willing to come.”