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I will hold bilateral meetings at SCO: PM

The Prime Minister is scheduled to leave for Samarkand on Thursday evening and he is scheduled to attend the Summit on Friday morning.

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New Delhi: Ahead of visiting Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that he would hold bilateral meetings with some leaders attending the Summit.

While the Prime Minister’s bilateral meeting with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been announced, it is yet not clear if Modi would hold bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping or Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

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“I will be visiting Samarkand at the invitation of President of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev to attend the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),” the Prime Minister said in a Departure Statement.

At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional, and international issues, the expansion of SCO, and on further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the Organisation, the Prime Minister added.

Under the Uzbek Chairship, a number of decisions for mutual cooperation are likely to be adopted in areas of trade, economy, culture, and tourism, he added.

“I also look forward to meeting President Mirziyoyev in Samarkand. I fondly recall his visit to India in 2018. He also graced the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as its Guest of Honour in 2019. In addition, I will hold bilateral meetings with some of the other Leaders attending the Summit,” the Prime Minister said.

Earlier, while addressing a Special briefing on the Prime Minister’s visit to Uzbekistan for the SCO Summit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said: “We would keep you apprised as along the way when the Prime Minister’s schedule of these bilateral meetings unfolds. At this stage that is all I can share with you.”

Notably, Modi and Jinping are taking part in the Summit at a time when the disengagement process between Indian and Chinese troops in the Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) area has been completed on Sept 12 as per the understanding reached between the two sides.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to leave for Samarkand on Thursday evening and he is scheduled to attend the Summit on Friday morning.

The SCO Summit is being attended by the leaders of the eight SCO member countries which also includes Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Besides the SCO Member States, the Summit is being attended by the Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan, and other invited guests.

During the Summit, the leaders are expected to review the organization’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation in the future.

The eight leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are the host Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov and Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon.

Besides the leaders of the eight member countries, three observer countries and four invited guest countries are also attending the Summit.

The leaders of the observer countries include Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh.

The leaders who have been invited as guests are Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, and Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedow.

The SCO Summit is taking place amid significant global developments including the Ukraine conflict and the Taiwan strait crisis.

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