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PM Modi addresses plenary session of SCO meeting at Dushanbe; asks member states to fight against increasing radicalization

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the root cause of problems facing Shanghai Cooperation Organization region is increasing radicalisation. He said, recent developments in Afghanistan have made challenges posed by radicalisation more clear. Addressing the Plenary Session of the 21st Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of State through video conferencing, Mr Modi said, the biggest challenges in the region are related to peace, security and trust deficit. He said, fight against radicalisation not only needed for regional security and trust but also to ensure bright future of the youth.
The Prime Minister said, SCO should work to develop strong network among the moderate, tolerant, inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam. He noted that historically the Central Asian region has been a bastion of moderate and progressive cultures and values. Mr Modi said, traditions like Sufism flourished there over the centuries and spread throughout the region and the world. He said, it is still reflected in the cultural heritage of this region
The Prime Minister said, New Delhi is committed to improve its connectivity with the Central Asia as it believes that landlocked Central Asian countries can benefit by connecting to Indian markets. He said, India’s investment in Iran’s Chabahar Port and its attempts in International North-South Corridor support this. Mr Modi said, no attempts of connectivity can be a one-way street. He said, to ensure this, such projects need to be consultative, transparent and participative and there should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries.
Mr Modi said, SCO member states must encourage the talented youngsters towards science and rational thinking. He said, the countries can bring the startups and entrepreneurs together to make the innovative spirit. The Prime Minister said, with the same thinking, India organized the first SCO Start-Up Forum and SCO Young Scientist Conclave last year.
Mr Modi said, be it technologies like UPI and Rupay Card to increase financial inclusion or digital platforms like Aarogya Setu and CoWIN in the fight against COVID, India has voluntarily shared it with other countries as well.
The Prime Minister said, this year is the 20th Anniversary of SCO and on this occasion, he welcomed Iran as a new member country of the SCO. He also welcomed the three new dialogue partners – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar.
At Dushanbe, India is being represented by External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.
This is the first SCO Summit being held in a hybrid format and the fourth Summit that India is participating as a full-fledged member. At the Summit, the leaders are expected to review the organization’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of future cooperation. Topical issues of regional and international importance are also expected to be discussed.

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