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Indian flag raised for the first time at SCO Headquarters in Beijing 06/15/2017

PRESS RELEASE: Indian flag raised for the first time at SCO Headquarters in Beijing

With India becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the recently concluded SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Indian flag was raised for the first time today at a special ceremony held at the SCO Secretariat located in Beijing, China. The ceremony was attended by the Secretary General of the SCO, H.E. Mr. Rashid Alimov, Assistant Foreign Minister of China, H.E. Mr. Kong Xuanyou and the resident Ambassadors of all the SCO member countries.

2. Ambassador of India to China, Shri Vijay Gokhale attended the special flag raising ceremony. Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Gokhale thanked all SCO members for extending their support for India’s membership. He also congratulated SCO members on the 16th anniversary of the establishment of SCO. Ambassador extended India’s congratulations to China on assuming the SCO Presidency this year and assured full support to them for a successful and productive Presidency.

3. Ambassador noted that India’s historical and cultural linkages with the region date back several centuries and that India has longstanding relations with each of the SCO members. He said that as a full member of SCO, India looks forward to further deepening these relations for mutual benefit and to deepen practical cooperation in the joint fight against terrorism and extremism. Ambassador emphasized that India stands ready to contribute to further enhancing the stature and influence of SCO and to harvest new opportunities to realize the full potential of mutually beneficial cooperation.

4. In his remarks on the occasion, Secretary General of SCO, H.E. Mr. Rashid Alimov congratulated and welcomed India as a full member of SCO. He recalled the 9th June Astana Summit where the leaders of the founding member states of the SCO made the historic decision to accept India as a full member of the organization. Secretary General said that from now on, the flags of all eight member states of the organization, united by the “Shanghai Spirit”, will flutter along with the flag of the SCO.

5. Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Kong Xuanyou said that at the SCO Astana Summit India became full member, marking the first expansion of the organization since its inauguration sixteen years ago. He said that the eight national flags flying high over the Secretariat symbolize unity among all its eight member states, and their commitment to the Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultation, respect for cultural diversity and desire for common development.

6. After the raising of the Indian flag, the Indian National Anthem was played by the Chinese Military Band.