External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary-General Zhang Ming on Thursday ahead of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in Goa. Jaishankar expressed his appreciation for the support from the Chinese Secretary-General for India’s SCO Presidency. In a tweet, he said that the Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to “SECURE SCO,” with key focus areas including startups, traditional medicine, youth empowerment, Buddhist heritage, and science and technology.
The CFM in Goa is expected to be a successful one, according to Jaishankar. He is also scheduled to hold separate bilateral talks with his Chinese counterpart Qin Gang and Russia’s Sergey Lavrov at a beach resort later in the day. Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, on his maiden trip to India, will also attend the conference of foreign ministers, but no structured bilateral meeting is planned between him and Jaishankar.
During his talks with Qin, Jaishankar is expected to convey that India-China ties cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas, as per people familiar with the matter. The two-day SCO foreign ministerial meeting will begin with a gala reception at a luxury beach resort in Goa on Thursday, while the main deliberations will take place on Friday.