External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday held separate bilateral talks with his counterparts from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the margins of an SCO conclave in Tashkent.
The meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was also attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Pakistan's Bilawal Bhutto. The external affairs minister also met with the Secretary-General of the SCO Zhang Ming on the sidelines of the foreign ministers' meeting.
"Met with Secretary-General of the SCO Zhang Ming. India continues to bring more ideas and initiatives to strengthen cooperation amongst SCO countries. Our Presidency next year will give a renewed thrust to these efforts," Jaishankar tweeted. He described his talks with Tajik foreign minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin "useful"
"A useful conversation on the evolving regional situation with FM Sirojiddin Muhriddin of Tajikistan. Our long-standing cooperation encourages us to have open exchange of views," he tweeted.
Jaishankar said development cooperation, connectivity and issues relating to the pharmaceutical sector figured in his talks with Kyrgyz leader Jeenbek Kulubaev.
A good conversation with FM of Kyrgyzstan Jeenbek Kulubaev on SCO sidelines. Discussed our bilateral partnership in political, development cooperation, education, connectivity and pharma," he said.
In their talks, Jaishankar and Vladimir Norov, the acting Uzbek foreign minister, took stock of the bilateral cooperation. "Glad to meet gracious host Vladimir Norov, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. Took stock of our bilateral cooperation, especially development partnership. Spoke about connectivity challenges to be addressed through regional collaboration," the external affairs minister said in another tweet.
Jaishankar had held bilateral talks with Kazakh foreign minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi on Thursday. "We recognized the progress made since our last meeting in New Delhi in December 2021. The current situation calls for stronger Indo-Kazakh cooperation across all domains," Jaishankar said.
After the SCO meeting, he also chaired a meeting in Tashkent with Indian Ambassadors in Central Asian countries. "Appreciated their efforts towards strengthening India-Central Asia relations," Jaishankar said on Twitter.
The external affairs minister arrived in Tashkent on Thursday on a two-day visit. The SCO is a key economic and security bloc and has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations. India and Pakistan became its permanent members in 2017.
The grouping was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
(With PTI Inputs)