NEW DELHI: A climate of trust, sensitivity to each others interests and an approach of non aggression are vital to maintaining peace in the region, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Friday in a subtle message to China as border tensions remain high.

Speaking at the defence ministers meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Moscow, where his Chinese counterpart was also present, Singh spoke on the need for a peaceful resolution of differences and respect for international norms.

“Peaceful, stable and secure region of SCO member states – which is home to over 40 per cent of global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences," he said.

This gains significance given the ongoing border crisis with China that has peaked tensions, with the Indian Army taking control of key heights and passes around the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake, while PLA troops retain control of the northern bank.

The minister is also likely to meet his Chinese counterpart in Moscow, a key development given the rise in tensions and a stalemate as far as military talks are concerned. This would be the first ever high level face to face meeting between political leaders of the two nations since the crisis broke out in early May.

Addressing the combined meeting of Defence Ministers of SCO, Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Member States in Moscow today, Singh reaffirmed India’s commitment to evolution of a global security architecture which will be “open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based and anchored in international laws”.

The minister also spoke on the need for combined effort to deal with emerging threats, particularly terrorism in the region. “ “We need institutional capacity to deal with both traditional and non-traditional threats – above all, terrorism, drug-trafficking and transnational crime….The adoption of anti-terror measures by the SCO Council to counter extremist propaganda and de-radicalisation is a significant decision,” he said.

Singh expressed his concern on the security situation in Afghanistan as well as the Persian Gulf, saying that India "has vital interests and links of civilisation and culture with all states in the Gulf”.

On Afghanistan, the minister said the security situation remains a matter of concern and India will “continue to support the efforts of the people and Government of Afghanistan for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace process.”