Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

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New Delhi:

Minutes after he welcomed Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Goa, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar made a strong statement on the “menace of terrorism”, including cross-border terrorism. Pointing out that combatting terrorism is one of the original mandates of the SCO, Mr Jaishankar said the channel of finances for terrorist activities “must be seized and blocked without distinction”.

“While the world is engaged in facing Covid and its consequences, the menace of terrorism continues unabated. Taking our eyes off this menace would be detrimental to our security interests. We firmly believe that there can be no justification for terrorism, and it must be stopped in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism,” he said.

Referring to the Covid pandemic and “geopolitical upheavals”, the foreign minister said the world faces a multitude of challenges as global supply chains have been disrupted, leading to a serious impact on the supply of energy, food, and fertilisers. This is having a cascading effect on developing nations, he said.

“These crises have also exposed a credibility and trust deficit in the ability of global institutions to manage challenges in a timely and efficient manner. These challenges, however, are also an opportunity for the SCO to collaborate and address them collectively. With more than 40 per cent of the world’s population within the SCO, our collective decisions will surely have a global impact,” he said.

On the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, Mr Jaishankar said it remains at the centre of our attention. 

“Our efforts should be directed towards the welfare of the Afghan people. Our immediate priorities include providing humanitarian assistance, ensuring a truly inclusive and representative government, combatting terrorism and drug trafficking, and preserving the rights of women, children, and minorities,” he said.

“India has always stood for multilateral approaches to addressing global challenges and has always been a willing partner in sharing our expertise and experience,” he added. 

The foreign minister highlighted India’s achievements in the field of start-ups and innovation, saying there are more than 70,000 start-ups in India, of which more than a hundred are Unicorns, and offered to share our experience with member states.

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