New Delhi, May 16
Anti-terrorism experts from Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries, including Pakistan, Russia and China, began three-day deliberations with focus on Afghanistan where the security situation has deteriorated recently.
The meeting will pick up the threads from the last deputy foreign minister-level meeting of SCO members in Moscow where they highlighted the need for the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan as soon as possible.
It will especially focus on the political situation in Afghanistan and threats arising from terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking, besides the need for humanitarian assistance.
A major focus of the discussions of SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) will be on the situation in Afghanistan, especially in dealing with the threat from terrorist groups active in the country. India is the current chair of the executive council of SCO’s RATS.
The participation of officials from China and Pakistan is noteworthy as these countries had not turned up when India convened a Regional Security Dialogue of NSAs on Afghanistan in November last year. The inter-ministerial delegation from Pakistan crossed over from the Wagah border on Saturday. Afghan envoy Farid Mamundzay thanked India for hosting the meeting saying the security and humanitarian situation had worsened in Afghanistan over the past nine months.
“We expect this meeting to raise and propose solutions to all important issues related to the security situation in Afghanistan. Sincere regional security cooperation, particularly from neighboring countries, is the only way forward for peace and development in Afghanistan and in the region,” he tweeted.
Focus of discussions...
- Political situation in Afghanistan
- Terrorism and radicalisation
- Drug trafficking from country
- Need for humanitarian assistance
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