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Not appropriate to focus on particular member: MEA on participation of Pakistan in SCO FMs' meet in Goa

New Delhi: On Pakistan's participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Foreign Ministers' meeting which is set to take place in India, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that it will not be appropriate to focus on a particular member.
The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi, said New Delhi has been inviting all the SCO member-states for events under India's presidency that are underway. As the current Chair, India will host the next Summit of the Council of Heads of State this year. The SCO Foreign ministers' meeting is scheduled to take place in Goa on May 4-5.
Bagchi, in a statement, underlined further that India had extended similar invitations to all SCO member-states, and looked forward to a successful meeting.
"Specifically, for the SCO Foreign Ministers meeting that is scheduled to take place in Goa on May 4, and 5th, we had extended similar invitations to all SCO member states, and we look forward to a successful meeting. It would not be really appropriate to look at participation by any one particular country," Bagchi said at the presser.
On the request for bilateral meetings, he added that it was premature. He further emphasised that the External Affairs Minister does try to hold as many bilateral meetings as he can on the margins of such kinds of multilateral meetings.
"Regarding the request for bilateral meetings, I think, it is premature. Let's see the full participation. Usually, EAM does try to hold as many bilateral meetings as it can on the margins of such kinds of multilateral meetings. You saw that on the occasion of the G20 Foreign Minsiters' meeting," the official spokesperson of MEA said.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will visit India this May for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Goa, officials said on Thursday.
Bhutto-Zardari will lead the Pakistani delegation to the meeting of SCO Foreign Ministers (CFM), according to Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.
Pakistan Foreign office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, during a weekly presser on Thursday, stated that Bhutto-Zardari is attending the SCO-CFM meeting at the invitation of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
"Our participation at the meeting reflects Pakistan's continued commitment to the SCO charter and process and the importance that Pakistan accords to the region in its foreign policy priorities," the spokesperson said.
Bilawal will be the first foreign minister to visit India after a gap of nearly 12 years, reported Business Recorder. In 2011, then Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar visited India.
Relations between the two countries have been precarious for many years with regard to issues of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, even as Islamabad has been seeking the restoration of Article 370 for the former Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir for any talks.
Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are also likely to participate in the meeting. India took over the chairmanship of the 9-member mega grouping in September last year and will be holding key ministerial meetings and the summit this year.
The 20-year-old organization has Russia, India, China, Pakistan, and four central Asian countries-Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as its members. Iran is the latest country to become a member and under Indian Presidency will for the first time attend the grouping's meeting as a full-fledged member. (ANI)

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