SCO Summit: Afghanistan is an unfortunate example of effect of terrorism, says PM Modi

New Delhi: Dubbing Afghanistan as an unfortunate example of effect of terrorism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the plenary session of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit on Sunday.

“I hope the brave steps towards peace taken by President Ghani will be respected by all in the region,” PM Narendra Modi said.

Connectivity with the SCO countries is our priority, he said while addressing the session. “We have again reached a stage where physical and digital connectivity is changing the definition of geography. Therefore, connectivity with our neighbourhood and in the SCO region is our priority,” he said.

“Foreign tourists from SCO countries coming to India accounts for just 6%. This can be easily doubled. Increasing awareness of our shared cultures can help boost this number.We will organise a SCO food festival and a Buddhist festival in India,” Modi added. “We should together set a goal for the 25th SCO Summit. We should work together as a committee.”

He ended his speech by floating the concept of SECURE: ‘S’ for security for citizens, ‘E’ for economic development, ‘C’ for connectivity in the region, ‘U’ for unity, ‘R’ for respect of sovereignty, ‘E’ for environment protection.

The PM arrived in China’s Qingdao on Saturday to attend the two-day SCO summit. He held ‘substantive talks’ with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday during which they agreed to hold the next informal summit in India.

It is Modi’s second visit to China in little over five weeks. He was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27 and 28 to attend an informal summit with Jinping.

The issues of discussion at the summit will range from pressing global issues, including future of Iran nuclear deal, impact of US sanctions on Russia and the situation in the Indo-Pacific region.