Bishkek: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday called on Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov ahead of the SCO Foreign Minister’s Meeting here and discussed ways to enhance bilateral ties by exploring the untapped potential.
Swaraj arrived here in the Kyrgyz capital on Tuesday to attend a two-day meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers.
“An important partner in Central Asia. EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov ahead of #SCO Foreign Minister’s Meeting in #Bishkek. Visible enthusiasm to expand bilateral relations across all sectors, as both countries commit to explore the untapped potential,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
In her first engagement in Bishkek, Swaraj on Tuesday held a “productive discussion” with her Kyrgyz counterpart Chingiz Aidarbekov.
India became a full member of the China-dominated grouping in 2017 and New Delhi’s entry has increased the bloc’s heft in regional geo-politics, besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.
India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also attend the meeting.
Last month, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attended the SCO Defence Ministers’ conclave in Bishkek.
India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.
Along with India, Pakistan was also granted the SCO membership in 2017.
The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.