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SCO Can't Have Double Standards on Terrorism: Modi

© SputnikIndian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar
Indian Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar - Sputnik India, 1920, 04.07.2024
Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was delivering India's remarks on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who deputed him to attend the SCO Summit in Astana.
Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, deputed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the SCO Summit in Astana, has remarked that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) should not observe "double standards" on the issue of terrorism.

"The SCO must never waver in its commitment. We cannot have double standards in this regard," Jaishankar told the SCO Council of Heads of State Summit at the extended format session on Thursday.

Jaishankar highlighted that counter-terrorism should rank as the "foremost priority" for all the SCO states. He claimed that any support of violent extremism is unjustifiable, and called on the meeting to strongly denounce those who shelter terrorists.

"The truth is that it [terrorism] continues to be used by nations as a tool of destabilization. We have had our own experiences with cross-border terrorism. Let us be clear that terrorism in any form, or manifestation, cannot be justified or condoned. Harboring terrorists must be strongly condemned," stressed the top diplomat of India.

Earlier in the day, Jaishankar also delivered India's national statement at the Summit.
The Indian minister said that "cross-border terrorism" requires a "decisive response" and terrorism financing and recruitment should be "resolutely countered." He stressed that the Joint Statement issued during India’s Presidency in 2023 underscores the shared commitment of the summit's members on the issue.

"We should also take proactive steps to prevent the spread of radicalization among our youth," he added.

"Economic Development Requires Strong Connectivity"

Jaishankar also made a strong pitch for bolstering connectivity in the SCO region, as the new linkages would "better serve a rebalanced world." Citing the Iranian port of Chabahar, which is being developed by India under a long-term contract with Iran, the minister reported on progress in the project.

"This (connectivity) not only holds great value for the landlocked Central Asian states, but also de-risks commerce between India and Eurasia," he emphasised.

He further added that respect for "sovereignty and territorial integrity" is essential for connectivity and infrastructure projects, reffering that New Delhi has consistently opposed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Beijing-backed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that passes through the Jammu and Kashmir region.
"So too are non-discriminatory trading rights and transit regimes, so the SCO needs to deliberate seriously on these aspects," remarked Jaishankar during his address.

Jaishankar also congratulated Belarus for formally acceding to the SCO as its 10th member, and concluded his speech by conveying India's wishes to China for its upcoming SCO presidency.

Terror attack at Crocus City Hall. - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.03.2024
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