External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, is likely to meet his Chinese counterpart, and State Councilor Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers meet in Dushanbe, during July 13-14. The two met last year (September) in Moscow and had decided to de-escalate tensions at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, which has had violent clashes for the first time since 1975. However, the de-escalation is yet to be implemented.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, on their discussion agenda for this meeting is the current security situation in Afghanistan and de-escalation and disengagement in East Ladakh. Jaishankar is slated to travel to Dushanbe today, to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting, following which, he will go to Tashkent for a regional connectivity conference which will be held from July 15-16.
Apart from Yi, Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, will also be present during the SCO meeting. The discussion topic of the SCO meet will predominantly be the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan and its effect on neighboring south and central Asia. The Hindustan Times report claim that Jaishankar is likely to take up de-escalation in East Ladakh with Yi as well, as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is ‘dragging their feet’ on disengagement. The report further stated that the dates for the 12th round of senior military commanders meet will be decided after the two foreign ministers mitigate a way forward.
According to PTI, the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting will also discuss the achievements of the organization as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of its formation this year, the MEA had previously said in a statement. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and is seen as a counterweight to NATO. It is an eight-member economic and security bloc that has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organizations. India and Pakistan became their permanent members in 2017.