SCO to bring together defense heads of India, China in New Delhi

New Delhi, Apr 27 (EFE).- The defense ministers of India and China are set to meet face to face on Friday in New Delhi within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) amid prolonged border tensions between the two countries.

Rajnath Singh and Li Shangfu, making his first visit to India since the deadly border clash in 2020, will take part in the defense ministers’ meeting of the SCO, of which India holds the rotating presidency this year.

At the meeting, “bilateral defence related issues and other matters of mutual interest will be discussed,” the Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Besides Singh and Li, the defense heads of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan will also take part in the meeting, which will also discuss “matters related to regional peace and security, counter terrorism efforts within SCO and an effective multilateralism,” the statement added.

India has also invited Belarus and Iran, observers in the SCO, to attend this meeting in which Pakistan, a member of this body, will take part virtually.

It is the first visit by a Chinese defense minister to the south Asian country after the deterioration of relations in June 2020, due to a border clash in Galwan Valley in the western Himalayas.

In the clash, the worst between the two powers in 45 years, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed and 76 wounded, while Beijing acknowledged four dead and one severely wounded.

India joined the SCO in 2017, an entity focused on political, economic, security and defense issues.

It is composed of eight member states, four observers – Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia – and six dialogue partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. EFE


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