Central Urgent Action Needed to Address Energy and Food Crisis

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During the SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the global challenges of an energy and food crisis caused by disruptions from the Covid pandemic and Ukraine conflict, stressing the need for urgent action. He called for resilient and diversified supply chains, reformed multilateralism, and a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism.

Jaishankar also reiterated India’s stance on Afghanistan and highlighted the country’s humanitarian aid efforts, including providing wheat, medicines, vaccines, and clothing. He emphasized the economic potential of the Chabahar port for the SCO’s future and discussed India’s economic progress, with a focus on start-ups and innovation. He also highlighted the importance of cooperation in traditional medicine for SCO members.

The Foreign Ministers’ meeting was described as valuable in preparing for the upcoming Samarkand summit, expected to be attended by the Prime Minister in September. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov were among the attendees, along with representatives from other SCO countries.

On a separate note, Jaishankar and Wang participated in a regional conference in Uzbekistan, following concerns raised by New Delhi over a planned visit by a Chinese military ship to a strategic port in Sri Lanka. The Indian External Affairs ministry spokesman stated that the government is monitoring the situation and will safeguard its security and economic interests.

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