In another bilateral meeting on Thursday, Jaishankar had “trust-based” exchanges with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on bilateral and “topical” global and regional issues.
Jaishankar met Qin and Lavrov here ahead of the meeting of the SCO foreign ministers that began later in the day with a dinner and cultural programme hosted by the Indian minister.
Watch: What Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said before SCO meet in India
In his last meeting with Qin, on the margins of the G20 meeting in March, Jaishankar had told Qin that the relationship currently was abnormal and the message on this occasion was no different.
“A detailed discussion with State Councillor and FM Qin Gang of China on our bilateral relationship. Focus remains on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas. Also discussed SCO, G20 and BRICS,” tweeted Jaishankar after the meeting.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh had told his counterpart Li Shangfu in another SCO meeting last week that China’s violations of bilateral agreement for border peace had eroded the basis of bilateral ties. While India wants disengagement of troops in the remaining areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh to be completed before resuming normal bilateral exchanges, China believes the border issue should not be allowed to come in the way of progress in the relationship.
In the middle of this military and diplomatic gridlock, Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India for the SCO summit on July 4. Xi and PM Narendra Modi are expected to have on the margins their first bilateral meeting since the border flare-up in May 2020 but India will hope to see more progress in the disengagement process before the meeting.
EAM Jaishankar holds bilateral talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang
The SCO meeting on Friday will also look to firm up the agenda for the summit in July which will see participation also by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Jaishankar’s meeting with Lavrov Thursday saw, as the former said, a comprehensive review of the bilateral, global and multilateral cooperation between the 2 countries.
“Appreciated Russia’s support for India’s SCO presidency. Also discussed issues pertaining to G20 and BRICS,’’ he tweeted.
According to Russian authorities, a trust-based exchange of views on the main issues of bilateral relations, including the schedule of upcoming contacts, as well as topical issues on the global and regional agenda took place in the meeting.
“The ministers praised the dynamics of cooperation in key areas of the special and privileged strategic partnership between our countries,’’ said a Russian readout of the meeting, adding that the 2 sides agreed to work further towards building a “fair multipolar system of interstate relations”.
Lavrov, who arrived in India a day after Russia claimed Ukraine launched a drone attack on Kremlin to assassinate Putin, also had bilateral meetings with Qin and his Pakistan counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
According to Pakistan, Lavrov and Bilawal discussed bilateral, regional, and international issues of interest. The 2 leaders also discussed ways to deepen cooperation for food security, energy and people to people contacts. Russia maintains that its ties with Pakistan are independent of the relationship with India and that it’s mindful of India’s security interests while developing relations with Islamabad.