Defence Minister Rajnath Singh travelled to Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan) on a three-day visit to attend a defence ministerial conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
The SCO defence ministerial meeting is taking place around three weeks ahead of the annual summit of the SCO scheduled for September 15-16 in Samarkand.
India has shown a keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.
What is SCO?
SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.
It is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
It was created in 2001. The HQ is located in Beijing, China.
Prior to the creation of SCO in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five (1996).
Following the accession of Uzbekistan to the organisation in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.
The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.