Lavrov reacts to Jaishankar’s suntan query

During his Goa visit, Lavrov is expected to have several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other SCO countries….reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa.

During their interaction, Jaishankar shared a light moment when he was heard asking whether Lavrov had an opportunity to get some rest and a suntan, to which the Russian minister responded that he had had about an hour and a half to do so. Lavrov is also heard telling Jaishankar not to tell anybody about it.

The Russian Foreign Minister arrived at Goa’s Dabolim airport this morning. Incidentally, this is the second time this year that Lavrov is visiting India. Previously, he had attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New Delhi this March.

During his Goa visit, Lavrov is expected to have several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other SCO countries.

Currently, SCO has Russia, India, China, Pakistan and four Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as its members.

Observer countries of the SCO, Iran and Belarus could soon become full-time members of the charter as the decision is under consideration as of now, an official said today. If consideration is accepted by the SCO member on Iran and Belarus to take as new members of SCO, it will have 10 members in the SCO by next year.

The theme of India’s Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is ‘Secure-SCO’. India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions in the region.

SCO is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001. Prior to the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting took place in New Delhi this April in which Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu took part and discussed the Russian defence industry’s participation in the ‘Make in India’ initiative and ways to provide further impetus to it with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh.

Jaishankar earlier today held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of SCO, Zhang Ming in Goa and appreciated his “support for India’s SCO Presidency”.

Sharing details regarding the meeting, Jaishankar tweeted, “Started my meetings at SCO CFM with a productive interaction with Secretary General Zhang Ming. Appreciate his support for India’s SCO Presidency. Indian presidency is driven by a commitment to SECURE SCO.”

India will also host a cultural event and a dinner this evening for its counterparts from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. (ANI)

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