“Shanghai Cooperation”.. Indian leadership

Published in: May 13, 2023: 10:26 PM GST
Last updated: May 13, 2023: 10:27 PM GST

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an important political and security grouping of member countries, and it covers most of Eurasia, including China, India, and Russia, among others. The organization was founded in 2007 by Russia, China and former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

In 2017, the grouping expanded to include India and Pakistan as full members. This year, India holds the presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Group of Twenty. Presiding over the two important groupings simultaneously represents an opportunity for India to improve its international and regional standing. However, given the internal contradictions between the members of these two groupings, this is expected to pose a kind of challenge as well. But for India, the synchronization of its leadership of the two gatherings represents an opportunity to highlight the global problems and challenges facing the countries of the developing world. It is also an opportunity for India to show that it can deal with complex global scenarios and that it has good relations with other countries. Because India is close to the West, yet it continued to deal with Russia and refused to vote against it in the United Nations. This means that she can play the role of facilitator or mediator if necessary or requested.

In this context, India recently held a series of meetings related to the two gatherings. This week, it hosted the meeting of foreign ministers of the countries of the Shanghai bloc, shortly after the meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 countries. In this recent meeting, Indian Defense Minister Raj Nath Singh emphasized that peace and prosperity cannot coexist with terrorism, and that India is committed to building the defense capabilities of the SCO member states for common security interests and maintaining peace and security based on the provisions of the Charter. United nations. At the meeting of foreign ministers, India kept the focus on the issue of terrorism, stressing the need to block indiscriminately the channels of financing terrorist activities, including cross-border terrorism.

The Indian minister stressed that since combating the threat of terrorism is one of the original objectives of the Shanghai Organization, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member states is an indispensable necessity. Discussions also focused on the situation in Afghanistan and geopolitical turmoil in Ukraine, which affected energy, food and fertilizer supplies.

Moreover, Indian External Affairs Minister Jani Shankar held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on bilateral relations between the two countries. The talks focused on resolving the outstanding issues between them and ensuring peace and tranquility in the border areas. The Indian minister also held a meeting with the foreign minister of Russia, which was the engine to bring India into the organization, which is equivalent to China. The two sides expressed their gratitude for the Russian support for India, not only in the Shanghai gathering, but also in the BRICS gathering.

There is no doubt that the Shanghai Community is full of internal contradictions, given that each of the member states has its own agenda, which sometimes conflicts with the agendas of other members, as is the case with India and Pakistan. Therefore, India has a real challenge represented in achieving consensus and harmony among the members at a time when it is working to prepare for the summit of the leaders of the countries of the grouping next July.

What is remarkable about the meeting of foreign ministers, which was held in order to prepare for the summit, was that there were no bilateral talks or handshakes between the Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers. Therefore, the disk of light at the summit of the leaders of the assembly countries in India and Pakistan will continue to be focused on them. Thus, it is not yet clear what the leaders’ summit will look like.

In fact, India does not share good relations with Pakistan and China, but it is seeking to assume a leadership role and show that it can disengage from bilateral conflicts and seek a multilateral position, whether it is related to transportation or the geopolitical problems facing the world. However, India, despite its not good relations with China and Pakistan, is keen to deepen cooperation with the countries of the “Shanghai Cooperation Organization” and its “Regional Counter-Terrorism Authority”, which deals in particular with issues related to the economy, security and defense. Although India is engaged in managing the various bilateral dynamics, it is striving to ensure the success of the Shanghai Community at the multilateral level and not allow its agenda to fail due to differences between the countries concerned.

Quoted from the union

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