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Rajnath Singh meets Tajik counterpart, holds discussions on expanding defence cooperation

News Agencies | Updated on: 28 July 2021, 20:53 IST

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday met with his Tajik counterpart Sherali Mirzo and discussed expanding defence cooperation between both countries.

"Had an excellent meeting with Tajikistan's Minister of Defence, Col. Gen. Sherali Mirzo in Dushanbe today. We had extensive discussions on expanding defence cooperation between both the countries," Rajnath Singh tweeted.

Earlier in the day, Rajnath Singh addressed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' meeting held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and reiterated India's resolve to work within the SCO framework for helping create and maintain a peaceful, secure and stable region.

During the meeting, Singh said, Terrorism is the most serious threat to international peace and security. "Any act of terror and support to such acts, including cross border terrorism, committed by whomsoever, wherever and for whatever motives, is a crime against humanity," he added.

He also reaffirmed India's resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

According to an official release by the Ministry of Defence, Singh said, "India plans to produce well over 250 crore doses of vaccines between August and the end of 2021. We are determined to vaccinate at least 90 crore adult Indians and to help other friendly countries with vaccine."

The Defence Minister congratulated Member-States of the SCO on the successful completion of 20 years of its existence. He said that though India joined the organisation in 2017, historical and civilisational relations and geographical connections make India inseparable from the SCO.

Stressing on the importance of the regional group, Singh said, "The SCO Nations, together, encompass nearly half the human population on our planet. In terms of geography, it covers approximately three-fifths of the Eurasian continent. We, therefore, have collective stakes to create a safe, secure and stable region that contributes towards progress and improvement of human development indices of our people and the generations which will follow."

He pointed out that it is in the same spirit India helps the people of Afghanistan, which is facing violence and devastation over decades. So far India has completed 500 projects in Afghanistan and continuing with some more with total development aid of US dollar 3 billion, he highlighted.

Speaking about geo-strategic location of India that makes it both a Eurasian land power and also a stakeholder in the Indo-Pacific, the Defence Minister said, "Our intent and aspirations are therefore focused towards prosperity and development of the entire region. We affirm this intent through our national policy of Security and Growth for All in the Region, commonly known by the acronym SAGAR."

Security and Stability are the most essential components to create a conducive environment for growth and economic development of the region and of our respective Nations, he added.


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First published: 28 July 2021, 20:53 IST