SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov met with India's Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj at the Ministry's guesthouse on the afternoon of 8 May 2018. The event was central to the SCO Secretary-General's official visit to India.
During the meeting, the parties conducted an in-depth exchange of opinions and discussed in detail topical issues on the SCO agenda, including preparations for the main SCO event in 2018, the upcoming meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council, scheduled for 9-10 June 2018 in Qingdao, the People's Republic of China. For the first time the event will involve the leaders of eight SCO member states.
Mr Alimov praised cooperation between India and the SCO and noted that New Delhi's proactive interaction with SCO member states at all levels (as a full-fledged member-state) had considerably strengthened the Organisation and boosted its potential for development.
"Today, India is one of the influential countries in the world, it boasts immensely rich experience and broad potential in all areas, and the entire world knows about the glorious traditions of the Indian diplomatic service. As an SCO member state, India will, doubtless, continue to make an increasingly greater contribution to strengthening neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation in every sphere, and this will greatly augment our common efforts to ensure joint development and prosperity," Mr Alimov said.
Ms Swaraj assured Mr Alimov that India was most actively involved in all cooperation mechanisms within the SCO, and that it aimed to fill them with real content for the benefit of all the SCO nations. She noted that New Delhi particularly welcomed the Organisation's broad and rich agenda, with its dynamic development.
The officials discussed the SCO's expanding international cooperation and focused on the need to further the Organisation's ties with the UN and its institutions, as well as with ASEAN. Ms Swaraj welcomed the intention to actively expand the international ties of the SCO and its Secretariat and assured Mr Alimov of New Delhi's support.
Ms Swaraj gave an official lunch in honour of Mr Alimov, with both sides later resuming their exchange of opinions on pressing issues on the SCO agenda.
The conversation took place in a warm and friendly atmosphere.