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.
- India and Pakistan became members in 2017.