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December 4, 2023
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SCO Summit Today; PM Modi To Hold Bilateral With Counterparts of Russia, Uzbekistan And Iran

Tawqeer Hussain

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will today attend the first in-person summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in two years in the historic Uzbek city of Samarkand, which will deliberate on major regional security challenges and issues like trade, investment and energy supplies.

PM Modi arrived in Samarkand last night to attend the summit of the eight-member SCO grouping which will also see the participation of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Iran’s Ebrahim Raisi, Pakistan’s Shehbaz Sharif, and other leaders from the Central Asian countries.

The SCO summit in Samarkand will have two sessions — one restricted session which is only meant for the SCO member states and then there will be an extended session that is likely to see the participation of the observers and the special invitees of the chair country.

Modi is also expected to hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including with Putin, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Iranian President Raisi.

“At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional and international issues, the expansion of SCO and further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the Organisation,” Modi said in a pre-departure statement.

There is no confirmation over his possible bilateral with Chinese President Xi and Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif, amidst a chill in the bilateral ties with both countries.

“Prime Minister Modi will have bilateral meet with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. We will keep you fully apprised when the Prime Minister’s schedule of bilateral meetings unfolds,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday when asked if Modi and Xi will have a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

However media reports and government sources also confirmed Prime Minister Modi’s bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Both the meetings are scheduled for today.

(With inputs from media reports)

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