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PM Modi reaches Samarkand for Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting, refrains from being photographed

Modi will have his first one-on-one meeting with Xi on Friday after the April 2020 LAC standoff

Modi will have his first one-on-one meeting with Xi on Friday after the April 2020 LAC standoff

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Arrived in Samarkand late Thursday evening, just before the bus Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State MeetingWhere he will face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the first time since the LAC standoff of April 2020.

Mr Modi was the last of the visiting leaders of eight SCO members and missed the pre-summit dinner hosted by Uzbekistan President Shovkat Mirziyoyev and the tree planting by all the leaders, leading to speculation that Mr Modi was a late arrival. To avoid any uncomfortable “photo-ops” while relations with China and Pakistan remain tense.

look | What does India hope to achieve at the SCO summit?

Mr Modi’s absence was particularly felt as other leaders held several bilateral meetings on Thursday, including a much-anticipated one Meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin For the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine. In total, Mr. Xi held eight bilateral meetings and Mr. Putin met with six other leaders, including Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi. Meanwhile, Mr Sharif, who was present at the SCO, held seven bilateral meetings to seek support on the flood situation in Pakistan.

On Friday, Mr. Modi will hold three bilateral meetings with Mr. Putin, Mr. Mirziyoyev and Mr. Raisi, the Foreign Ministry confirmed.

Mr. Putin’s strong performance in Uzbekistan, accompanied by a large delegation, is expected to demonstrate confidence and dispel Western narratives of the challenges he faces. Ukraine war, In addition, participating SCO countries are expected to express disapproval for plans for “economic sanctions” or unilateral sanctions and “oil price caps” imposed by the US and EU.

At a briefing on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said “India is not a member of the G7” when asked whether India would join the oil price cap mechanism plan announced by the G7 countries on September 2. Mr Kwatra said, “On the price cap alliance, what form it takes, how it develops, it is some of the countries that have taken this view, maybe can respond better.”

On Friday, the members of the SCO, which includes four Central Asian countries, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, are expected to agree to include Iran in the Eurasian grouping, and Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi, who is invited here, formally will be included as one. Member at the next SCO summit to be held in India in 2023. During his address, Mr Modi is expected to focus on the need for security and territorial integrity in the region, along with a focus on connectivity through Iran’s Chabahar port. Cross-border terrorism.

“At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional and international issues, expanding the SCO and further deepening multi-faceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the organization. Under the Uzbek presidency, trade Several decisions are likely to be taken for mutual cooperation in the areas of economy, culture and tourism,” Mr Modi said before leaving Delhi.

The inclusion of Iran is one of several agreements to be announced with the “Samarkand Declaration” signed by the group’s eight members. The group will also grant “dialogue partners” status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, an indicator that Central and South Asian groups are seeking to include the Middle East in their discussions. The expansion of the grouping and its dialogue partners marks a “success” for the SCO, said Rahmatullah Nurimbetov, Uzbekistan’s national coordinator for the SCO, who will next hand it over to the Indian authorities, as India takes over as the SCO president for the next year. ,

In addition, an agreement on “good neighbourhood, friendship and cooperation” and a separate joint statement on “response to climate change” is also expected to be issued, particularly with reference to the flood situation in Pakistan. gross.

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