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Jaishankar targets China: Projects should respect sovereignty, territorial integrity

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New Delhi, Nov 01: In an apparent dig at China, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday underlined the need for better connectivity in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) region and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Central Asian states.

 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Jaishankar made the remarks while representing India in a virtual meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government that was held to shape the nine-member grouping's trade and economic agenda.

"Connectivity projects should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and respect international law," Jaishankar tweeted.

"Our total trade with SCO Members is only $141 billion, which has potential to increase manifold. Fair market access is to our mutual benefit and only way to move forward," he added.

In his address, Jaishankar underlined India's strong cultural and historical connect with the SCO region and reiterated India's firm commitment towards deepening multilateral cooperation in the areas of food and energy security, climate change, trade and culture.

He spoke about the launch of the global Mission 'LIFE' (Lifestyle for Environment) by Prime Minister Modi on 20 October 2022, and its relevance to ensuring the food and energy security.

External Affairs Minister drew attention to India's commitment in fighting the challenge of climate change and also our achievements made in this direction. He also emphasised India's strong recovery on the economic front after the pandemic. EAM also expressed interest in expanding India-SCO trade on the basis of fair market access.

Jaishankar also appreciated condolences expressed at the loss of lives in the Morbi tragedy.

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