PM Modi among 15 leaders to attend SCO summit in Uzbekistan on Sept 15, 16

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among 15 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand on September 15 and 16.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among 15 world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand on September 15 and 16.

This will be the first in-person summit after the Covid pandemic hit the world. The last summit was held in June 2019 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

According to sources, the Prime Minister will reach Samarkand on September 14 and return on September 16.

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The summit is important for India as it will assume the rotational presidency of the SCO at the end of the Samarkand summit. Delhi will hold the presidency of the grouping for a year until September 2023. So, next year, India will host the SCO summit.

The Prime Minister’s visit to Samarkand will be closely watched for the possibility of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are among the invited leaders.

While there has been no official word on the scheduled bilateral meetings, the leaders are expected to be in the same room for the summit as well as the leaders’ lounge.

China has refused to comment on a possible meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Uzbekistan, saying the disengagement of troops in the Gogra-Hotsprings area of eastern Ladakh was a “positive development” to improve the strained bilateral ties.

Preparations for the SCO summit have been on for the last six months in Samarkand, 300 km from Tashkent.

The SCO is an inter-governmental organisation founded in Shanghai in June 2001. It currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia) and six Dialogue Partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).

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