Afghanistan remained the top focus of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, even as the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reportedly held "useful" discussions with his Russian counterpart as well as the Iranian President.
Jaishankar met Russia's Sergey Lavrov with whom he held talks on contemporary issues, including Afghanistan. The EAM also shared his perspectives on global affairs with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, as he held separate informal meetings with the two leaders here.
Jaishankar met the two leaders in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on the sidelines of the key summit on the situation in Afghanistan after its takeover by the Taliban last month.
"Always good to meet Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. A useful discussion on contemporary issues, including Afghanistan, before the commencement of the SCO Summit," Jaishankar tweeted after the informal meeting.
The two leaders had last met in Moscow in July. The two leaders also represented their countries at the SCO foreign ministers' meeting here in July.
Jaishankar also exchanged courtesies and perspectives with Iranian President Raisi.
"An exchange of courtesies- and perspectives- with President Raisi of Iran before the start of the SCO Summit," Jaishankar tweeted.
Jaishnakar had met President Raisi twice in July and August. He had represented India at the swearing-in ceremony of Raisi.
The annual SCO summit is expected to deliberate extensively on the developments in Afghanistan as well as the overall regional security scenario.
Jaishankar will attend a meeting on Afghanistan with the heads of state of the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
"Warmly received at the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State by Tajik leadership. Honoured to represent PM @narendramodi
in Dushanbe who addressed the plenary session of the Summit via video-link," Jaishankar tweeted.
The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, is an eight-member 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 SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
India was made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
(With inputs from PTI)