India engages with neighbours to consolidate ties


India’s three leading foreign policy managers on Thursday held talks with leaders of India’s extended neighbourhood to consolidate existing relationships.

India to host its maiden SCO heads of govt meet

  • Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will chair the virtual Council of Heads of Government (CHG) summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council on November 30, said the MInistry of External Affairs.
  • India assumed the chairmanship of the SCO Council of CHG in 2019 and will complete its tenure on the day of the summit. It will be the first time that a summit-level meeting will be held under India’s watch.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is in Colombo for a security trilateral with Maldives and Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar concluded his visit to the UAE and is in Seychelles to meet its newly elected President and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla concluded his two-day visit to Nepal, where he met the top leadership to turn the page on six months of acrimony.

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval arrived on Friday for trilateral maritime dialogue among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. This format is being revived after six years and is aimed at consolidating the existing partnership between the three countries on maritime security against the backdrop of Colombo’s unwillingness to reduce the salience of China in its infrastructure development.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had visited both countries last month after participating in the 2+2 talks in India. While Maldives is receptive to partnering the US in defence cooperation, Colombo was cold to Pompeo’s suggestion that Chinese influence is malignant.

In Seychelles, Jaishankar handed over a letter from PM Narendra Modi to the newly elected priest of Indian origin Ram Kalawan. Shringla in Nepal met the entire leadership and struck the right notes by promising to “work to Nepal’s priorities’’ and terming the country as “fundamental” to India’s “Neighbourhood First” approach. “India’s development is linked to the development of neighbouring countries,” he said. —TNS

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