Terrorism is major threat to humanity, says Modi at SCO Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif here on Thursday ahead of Friday's Shanghai Cooperation Organisatipn (SCO) Summit.

In his address at the annual summit of the SCO in the Kazakh capital, PM Modi said India's entry into the SCO family will give a new momentum to the grouping in dealing with terrorism and other pressing challenges facing the region. Recruitment of terrorists and even financing of terrorist groups is a major issue which needs to be tackled, said Modi. "Terrorism is a major threat to humanity".

The SCO is founded in 2001 and it comprises six member states, mainly focusing on military cooperation between the members which involves intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.

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.

"President, with SCO members we share deep historical and cultural ties, as well as strong economic and strategic linkages".

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Astana, Kazakhstan, June 9, 2017.

India also joined the SCO on the occasion.

"The expanded SCO will now be representing world's 42 percent population, 20 percent GDP, and 22 percent terrain therefore the SCO's progress is the progress of world's psyche and terrain", said Prime Minister Modi.

India, Iran and Pakistan were admitted as observers at the 2005 Astana Summit.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the Summit and underscored the need to respect each other's "core concerns" and appropriately handle the disputes.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, including trade and economic cooperation, and also current global issues during the meeting.

"India and Pakistan are now members of the SCO".

Russian President Putin, with whom Prime Minister Sharif had a handsake, congratulated Pakistan on becoming a full-fledged member of the SCO.

The Indian side is grateful for China's support for India's accession to the SCO and will work closely with China in the organization, Modi said. "Since the three years after the BRI", she had said.

Pakistan's political economist Prof S Akbar Zaidi today said the growing dependence on Chinese investment in Pakistan had cast a shadow on Indo-Pak trade prospects, according to a PTI news report. During his address on Friday, PM Modi stressed that cooperation in connectivity projects between SCO members is a priority for India while taking states sovereignty and territorial integrity as the key factors.

The Prime Minister also visited Belarus stall and was briefed by the high officials.

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