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Amid LS polls, Defence Minister in Kyrgyzstan to attend important SCO meet


ANI General News
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharamanon Sunday reached Bishkek to take part in the SCO Defence Ministers' meeting where important regional security issues would be discussed in the presence of countries such as Pakistan and China.
The meeting is part of the build-up for the SCO summit, which is expected to take place on June 14-15.
"The Defence Minister today reached Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and will represent India in the SCO meeting," Defence Ministry officials said.
"The Minister is holding important election responsibilities for the BJP but could not skip this meeting amid polling as we wanted to put across our views on security issues strongly," they said.
During the visit, the Minister is expected to hold meetings with her counterparts from SCO countries but unlikely to meet the Pakistani representative there.
The SCO meet is expected to focus on Afghan situation amid talks with Taliban, countering terror effectively through coordinated action, controlling terror finances and increasing intra-SCO trade and business links.
In 2018, India participated in the SCO Defence Ministers meeting for the first time. Speaking at that meeting, Sitharaman had highlighted India's keen interest in developing an expanded partnership with the broader Eurasian region.
In 2018, India for the first time participated in the SCO defence exercises. The joint exercise was conducted by the Central Military Commission of Russia at Chebarkul, Chelyabinsk.
The exercise involved tactical level operations in an international counterinsurgency or counter-terrorism environment under the SCO Charter.

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First Published: Apr 28 2019 | 8:36 PM IST

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