New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ Meeting, which is set to take place on August 24 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“Rajnath Singh is visiting Tashkent, Uzbekistan from August 23 to 25 to attend the Annual Meeting of the Defence Ministers’ of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States,” a government press release read.

During the Annual Meeting, Defence Cooperation issues among the SCO Member States will be discussed and it is expected that a joint communique will be issued after the deliberations. Rajnath Singh’s address at the meeting is slated to be held on August 24, 2022.

Raksha Mantri, during the visit to Tashkent, will meet his Uzbekistan counterpart Lieutenant General Bakhodir Kurbanov, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which is also the host country.

In addition, meetings are also scheduled with Defence Ministers’ of some other Member countries of SCO on the sidelines of this meeting, where bilateral issues and issues of mutual interest will be discussed. During the stay in Tashkent, Rajnath Singh shall pay homage at the monument of Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and meet the Indian Diaspora in Uzbekistan, it added.

Earlier, during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) interior minister meeting in Uzbekistan, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai called for stern action against terrorism and drug trafficking.

The minister also presented an account of India’s robust Covid response globally. In a Tweet, India Embassy in Tashkent wrote, “At SCO interior ministers meet in Tashkent, MoS Nityanand Rai called for stringent action against terrorism & drug trafficking and cooperation in cyber security. Presented India’s robust covid response globally.”

MoS Rai and Tajik Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda met in Tashkent to discuss bilateral security cooperation, training and capacity building. Furthermore, regional situations and issues of mutual interest were emphasised.

Rai also called on Uzbek Interior Minister Pulat Bobojonov in Tashkent where both the leaders discussed strengthening security cooperation including tackling challenges of terrorism and drug trafficking in the region.

Deputy Secretary General, International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) commonly known as Interpol, James Stephen also called on MoS Rai in Tashkent.

“Preparations for upcoming Interpol General Assembly in Oct in India were discussed. Expansion of India’s cooperation with Interpol to include new and emerging areas was emphasised,” the Embassy said.

Uzbekistan, the current chair of the organization, will host the annual summit in the city of Samarkand on September 15-16. Earlier, a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO member states was also held in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

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