Addressing a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Heads of State Summit here, Khurshid said: "India has long been a victim of terrorism and we are acutely aware of the threat that its perpetrators pose to our people. We are of the firm view that only multilateral efforts and integrated actions can help effectively counter these negative forces including the related evils of drug trafficking and small arms proliferation."
"We are keen to deepen our security-related cooperation with the SCO in general and with the Regional Anti Terrorism Structure, in particular. We look forward to the signing of the Model Protocol of Intent in the near future as a demonstration of our willingness and commitment," he added.
Asserting that India is increasingly concerned about security-linked challenges which may emanate from the developing situation in Afghanistan, Khurshid said: "India strongly believes that Afghanistan can successfully complete the security, political and economic transitions in coming years and regain its historical place as a hub for regional trade and transit routes."
"However, this presupposes fulfillment of pledges made by the international community for security and civilian assistance to Afghanistan and non-interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs. We see SCO as an important body that can offer a credible alternative regional platform to discuss the challenges related to Afghanistan," he added.
Khurshid further said that this summit of the SCO is taking place at a crucial juncture in global politics, with many nations seared by violence and conflict.
"We have today the opportunity to reflect on events of deep geo-political significance in our neighbourhood. India is deeply concerned at the ongoing conflict in Syria and is closely watching the fast paced developments," he said.
"We have consistently called upon all sides to abjure violence so that conditions can be created for an inclusive political dialogue leading to a comprehensive political solution, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. At the same time, any external military intervention in Syria's affairs should be excluded," he added
"We are encouraged by the current proposal, steered by Russia, that is aimed at bringing the Syrian chemical stockpile under international control. This proposal is in alignment with India's own consistent stance of supporting the complete destruction and elimination of chemical weapons worldwide. India sees any move in this direction, within the framework of the UN, as a positive development," he said.
"We are hopeful that this development will reinvigorate the peace efforts towards a political solution to the Syrian conflict, including the early holding of the proposed 'International Conference on Syria' (Geneva-II), bringing all parties to the conflict to the negotiating table," he added.
Further reiterating that India stands ready to play a larger role in the SCO as a full member, once the organization reaches consensus on the expansion process, Khurshid said: "It is our conviction that an expanded SCO will be a more effective body to address the numerous security and developmental challenges that our region faces."
--ANI (Posted on 14-09-2013)