Non-aggression key to ensure regional peace: Rajnath to SCO members

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Rajnath Singh at the joint meeting of the defence ministers of SCO, CIS and CSTO members.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that a climate of trust, non-aggression, sensitivity towards each other and peaceful resolution of differences are the key aspects to ensure regional peace and stability. He was addressing a ministerial meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow on Friday.

His remarks came in the backdrop of a tense border standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers.

Notably, Singh made the comments in the presence of Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe, news agency PTI reported.

“Peaceful stable and secure region of SCO member states – which is home to over 40% of global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences,” Singh said.

Singh was addressing the combined meeting of defence ministers of SCO, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states.

Meanwhile, he also talked about the threat of terrorism and extremism and pitched for having institutional capacity to deal with it.

Global security architecture

“I reaffirm today that India is committed to the evolution of a global security architecture which will be open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws,” he said.

Tensions between the two countries flared up after Indian troops, thwarting Chinese moves in the Chushul sector, occupied dominating heights on the south bank of Pangong Tso and Rechin La near Rezang La on the intervening night of August 29 and 30.

Troops also moved to strengthen positions at Finger 3 on the Pangong north bank, occupying heights west of Finger 4 where the Chinese continue to occupy the ridgeline after coming in 8 km from Finger 8 which India says marks the LAC.

In light of recent developments, Chinese Defence Minister Fenghe has sought a meeting Friday with Singh on the sidelines of the SCO gathering of Defence Ministers.

According to sources on Thursday night South Block has given the go-ahead for Singh’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart, hoping it would lead to “early and complete disengagement” as well as de-escalation along the LAC.

SCO is an eight-nation regional grouping which primarily focuses on issues relating to security and defence. This was Singh’s second visit to Moscow since the border stand-off with China began in early May.

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