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Afghan territory must not be used to attack any other country, says Rajnath Singh at SCO meet

Singh could not meet his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe at the 24th SCO conclave in Tashkent Wednesday as he was absent.

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New Delhi: Afghanistan’s sovereign territory should not be misused to intimidate or attack any other country, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in Tashkent on Wednesday.

Addressing the defence chiefs’ meet at the 24th edition of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Uzbekistan capital, Singh further reiterated India’s support for a “peaceful, secure and stable” Afghanistan, in light of the Taliban’s takeover of the war-torn nation in August 2021.

“[Defence Minister Rajnath Singh] urged all parties to encourage Afghanistan authorities to achieve national reconciliation through dialogue & negotiation and establish a broad-based, inclusive & representative political structure in the country… He added that Afghan territory must not be used to intimidate or attack any country by providing safe havens & training to terrorists and supporting their activities through financial assistance,” the Defence Ministry stated.

Rajnath Singh also expressed India’s “concern” over the war in Ukraine and called for a resolution through talks, with 24 August marking exactly six months since Russia began its invasion.

The Defence Minister said members of SCO were “common stakeholders in the region” and urged stronger ties within the organisation, with India assuming presidency next year, after Uzbekistan.

Singh, however, missed meeting his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe as he was absent.

But Fenghe addressed the meeting on video. In his speech, he thanked the 170 countries and international organisations which had “supporting China’s condemnation of [US House of Representatives Speaker] Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan”.

Wei further said that “Taiwan is China’s Taiwan and the Taiwan question is China’s domestic affairs,” according to the Chinese paper Global Times.

Instead of Wei, China’s representative at Tashkent — who was photographed with Rajnath Singh and defence chiefs of other countries — was China’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, Jiang Yan.

The SCO is a Eurasian organisation aiming to strengthen political, economic and security cooperation among eight member states, four observers, six dialogue partners and several guest attendees including the UN. China, India, Russia and Pakistan are among the members while Afghanistan is an observer.


Also read: Rajnath thanks Russian defence minister over arrest of IS bomber planning to target India


 

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