QINGDAO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday floated the concept of SECURE at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in China. Explaining the SECURE concept, the Prime Minister said 'S' for security for citizens, 'E' for economic development, 'C' for connectivity in the region, 'U' for unity, 'R' for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and 'E for environment protection.
While speaking at a restricted session of the SCO Summit, he focussed on the need for connectivity with the neighbourhood. He said that connectivity in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) region is India's priority and conveyed India's willingness to extend full cooperation to a successful outcome of the Summit."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.
Noting that only 6 per cent of foreign tourists in India are from SCO countries, he said this can easily be doubled. "Increasing awareness of our shared cultures can help boost this number. We will organise an SCO food festival and a Buddhist festival in India," he said.
Citing Afghanistan as an "unfortunate example" of the effect of terrorism, Modi said he hoped the brave steps towards peace taken by President Ashraf Ghani will be respected by all in the region, apparently referring to a cease-fire announced by the Afghan leader for the Eid festival.
It is for the first time the Indian prime minister is attending the SCO summit after India along with Pakistan became full-fledged members of the grouping, jointly dominated by China and Russia. The SCO currently has eight member countries which represents around 42 per cent of the world's population and 20 per cent of the global GDP. Besides Modi, other leaders attending the summit include Chinese President Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.
(With PTI inputs)