Pakistan foreign minister arrives in India after over a decade

New Delhi, May 4 (EFE).- Pakistan foreign minister arrived in India on Thursday marking the first visit in over a decade by the diplomatic head of the country as relations remain strained between the south Asian neighbors.

Bilawal Bhutto arrived at the coastal state of Goa in western India to take part in the foreign ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Bhutto is set to meet with several of his counterparts from member states before the SCO meeting kicks off on Friday, which will also be attended by the diplomatic chiefs of China and Russia.

India and Pakistan have kept their diplomatic engagement to a bare minimum, and refused to hold bilateral talks due to hostile relations between them mainly over the Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism.

Bhutto was not received by any senior official from India upon his arrival at Goa, according to images released by the Pakistan Foreign Office in India.

This marks the first visit by a Pakistani official to India since Hina Rabbani Khar, who was then the foreign minister, visited in 2011.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang also arrived Thursday in Goa and is expected to hold a meeting with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, ahead of the SCO meeting, according to ANI news agency.

Jaishankar is also expected to meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who is already in India.

The SCO meeting is seen as an opportunity to measure Moscow’s influence among its Asian partners more than a year after the war in Ukraine.

India in 2017 joined the SCO, an entity focused on political, economic, security and defense issues, which also comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

Apart from the eight member states, the bloc currently has four observers – Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia – and six dialogue partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

Established in 2001, the SCO has a special focus on regional security, the fight against terrorism in the region, ethnic separatism and religious extremism. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button