In an address at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow, Singh also referred to the Second World War, adding that its memories teach the globe the “folies of aggression” of one state upon another which brings “destruction” to all.

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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday asserted that a climate of trust, non-aggression, sensitivity towards each other and peaceful resolution of differences are among key aspects to ensuring regional peace and stability.

In an address at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow, Singh also referred to the Second World War, adding that its memories teach the globe the “folies of aggression” of one state upon another which brings “destruction” to all.

His comments came in the midst of a fierce border row between India and China, both members of the SCO, an eight-nation regional grouping which primarily focuses on issues relating to security and defence. Singh made the comments in the presence of Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe.

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

“…let us not forget tens of millions of martyrs and sacrifice of an entire generation suffering destruction and agony in the Second World War – or “Great Patriotic War”, as our Russian brothers and sisters recall those years. The memory of the war teaches us of the follies of aggression of one state upon another, which brings destruction to all,” he added.

Referring to the threats faced by the world today, Singh said, “We need the institutional capacity to deal with both traditional and non-traditional threats – above all, terrorism, drug-trafficking and transnational crime. As you all are aware, India unequivocally condemns terrorism in all forms and manifestations and condemns its proponents. India values the works of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS).  We laud RATS’ recent work in the cyber domain to prevent the spread of radicalism and extremism. The adoption of anti-terror measures by the SCO Council to counter extremist propaganda and de-radicalisation is a significant decision.”  

The Defence Minister expressed his deep concern about the situation in the Persian Gulf Region. He said, “India has vital interests and links of civilisation and culture with all States in the Gulf.  We call upon countries in the region – all of which are dear and friendly to India, to resolve differences by dialogue based on mutual respect, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs of each other.”

Speaking about the situation in Afghanistan, Singh said, “Security situation in Afghanistan remains a concern.  India will continue to support the efforts of the people and Government of Afghanistan for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace process. The SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan is useful for exchanging notes among the SCO Member States.”

Singh reaffirmed India’s commitment to the evolution of a global security architecture which will be open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws. Raksha Mantri thanked the Russian Federation for organising the annual anti-terror exercise ‘Peace Mission’, which has contributed to building trust and sharing of experience among Defence Forces.   

The Defence Minister is on an official visit to Moscow from September 3-5 at the invitation of Defence Minister of Russian Federation General Sergei Shoigu.

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