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Rajnath Singh begins 3-day visit to Dushanbe to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet

New Delhi, July 28

 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to pitch for concerted efforts to deal with terrorism and other security challenges facing the region at a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe on Wednesday.

China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe is also attending the SCO conclave but no bilateral meeting has yet been scheduled between Singh and the Chinese leader.

However, sources did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Singh and Wei on the sidelines of the conclave.

Singh arrived in Dushanbe in Tajikistan on Tuesday evening to attend the meeting of the defence ministers of the member states of the SCO, an eight-nation influential grouping.

The defence minister is visiting Dushanbe from July 27 to 29 to attend the annual meeting of the defence ministers of SCO member states, Singh’s office tweeted.

“In the annual meeting, defence cooperation issues among SCO member states are discussed and a communique is expected to be issued after the deliberations,” it said.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Dushanbe to attend a conclave of foreign ministers of the SCO states on July 14.

He held a one-hour-long bilateral meeting with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the conclave.

In his address, officials said, Singh is expected to delve into regional security challenges, including terrorism and ways to deal with them.

The defence minister is also expected to meet his Tajik counterpart Col Gen Sherali Mirzo to discuss bilateral as well as other issues of mutual interest.

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