Home Asia SCO Summit: Jaishankar Meets Lavrov, What About Wang Yi?

SCO Summit: Jaishankar Meets Lavrov, What About Wang Yi?

Dr Jaishankar, who met several of his counterparts attending the summit, did not meet China's Wang Yii, amidst some speculation that he might do so on Thursday.
SCO summit: Jaishankar meets Lavrov
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet on the sidelines of he SCO summit in Astana on Wednesday.

Despite a rainy morning, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had a hectic day in Astana on Wednesday, where at least 16 world leaders have gathered on the first day of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

Apart from the 9 member states (China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Pakistan and Iran) and host Kazakhstan, other leaders in attendance were President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus (expected to be admitted as the 10th SCO member at the main summit on Thursday), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who is on a tour of Central Asia, is also in Astana for the summit, the theme of which is Strengthening Multilateral Dialogue—Striving Towards a Sustainable Peace and Prosperity.

Dr Jaishankar, who arrived late on Tuesday, was welcomed at the airport by Kazakhstan Deputy Foreign Minister Alibek Bakayev, met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu in the city later.

“Delighted to meet DPM & FM Murat Nurtleu of Kazakhstan in Astana today. Thanked him for the hospitality and arrangements for the SCO Council of Heads of State Summit. Discussed our expanding Strategic Partnership and India’s increasing engagement with Central Asia in various formats. Also exchanged views on regional and global issues,” he said in a post on X.

On Wednesday, Jaishankar met Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, where he raised “Our strong concern on Indian nationals who are currently in the war zone. Pressed for their safe and expeditious return.”

The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Moscow next week for the annual bilateral summit was also raised, apart from general discussions on “the global strategic landscape.”

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He also met his counterparts from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Belarus, as well as UN Secretary General Guterres. In between, he took time out to pay homage to a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Pushkin Park.

He did not, however, meet his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, although there was some speculation that he might do so on Thursday.

Separately, Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is on a state visit to Kazakhstan, held a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The traffic snarls due to the arrival of so many dignitaries was compounded by rain in the morning, and although the weather cleared in the afternoon, the roads were jammed till late evening due to diversions at various major intersections for security reasons and VIP movement.

On Thursday, the final day of the summit, to be held at the iconic pymarid-shaped Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, at least 20 major documents will be considered and released, including one on ‘World Unity for Just Peace and Harmony,’ proposed by host Kazakhstan.

It will also include the Astana SCO Declaration, the SCO Development Strategy until 2035, the Energy Cooperation Development Strategy until 2030, the Program of Cooperation in Countering Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism for 2025-2027, and the \SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2024-2029.

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In a career spanning over three decades and counting, I’ve been the Foreign Editor of The Telegraph, Outlook Magazine and The New Indian Express. I helped set up rediff.com’s editorial operations in San Jose and New York, helmed sify.com, and was the founder editor of India.com.

My work has featured in national and international publications like the Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Global Times and The Asahi Shimbun. My one constant over all these years, however, has been the attempt to understand rising India’s place in the world.

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