Underlining the significance of the connects and commonalities of the people of the SCO countries, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj stated that the connectivity with these nations is a priority for India.
Speaking at the 16th Meeting of Council of Government of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States in Russia's Sochi city, Swaraj said, "Connectivity with SCO countries is India's priority. We want connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between our societies."
"For this, respect for sovereignty is essential. Inclusivity, transparency and sustainability are imperative," she added.
Swaraj used the occasion to talk about the India-Afghanistan connectivity and stated that the connectivity with Afghanistan is an important priority sector for India which has improved with the operationalization of the Air Freight Corridor between Kabul, Kandahar and New Delhi this June.
The people of SCO countries have been connected through centuries, through shared commonalities of art and culture, ideas and knowledge; language and traditions.
Highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision, Swaraj said, "I believe that this is the starting point of our journey, to realise the full spectrum of connectivity - from culture to commerce; from traditions to technology; from investments to IT; from services to strategy; and from people to politics."
It is the first meeting of the Council after India became a full member of the SCO.
In June, India along with Pakistan had become a full- fledged member of the SCO.
India's membership was strongly pushed by Russia, while Pakistan's entry into the grouping was backed by China.
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