Modi to have bilateral meetings with Putin, Xi Jinping at SCO Summit

New Delhi, June 10 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the two day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit to be held from June 13 in Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek.
This was officially announced here by Gitesh Sarma, Secretary West in the Ministry of External Affairs here.
However, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar maintained that there is “no meeting” which is being organised between Prime Minister Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.
“whatever we had to share (on possibility of Modi-Imran meet) we have said; to the best of my knowledge there is no meeting organised. There is nothing more that we can add at this stage,” Mr Kumar said.
Meanwhile, China on Monday heaped praise on Prime Minister Modi and congratulated him yet again for his recent electoral victory.
“Once again we congratulate Prime Minister Modi. President Xi and Prime Minister Modi are good friends. They had very successful Informal Summit at Wuhan (April) last year,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told media briefing in Beijing.
Mr Sarma said – “This will be first multi lateral Summit Prime Minister will be attending after the recent elections”.
The Summit will be held on June 14 while the leaders are expected to arrive in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on June 13 itself.
“The SCO represents 42 per cent of the world population ….and 20 per cent of the world GDP,” he said.
“It is a structured platform to engage with central Asian countries,” the Secretary said adding terrorism, separatism and Afghanistan related issues are some major matters taken up by the forum.
“The Summit is structured to discuss global security situations, multi lateral economic cooperation, people to people and other topical issues,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi will make his intervention during the council of heads meeting on June 14, Friday.
“There will be bilateral meetings with China and Russia ….and there are other request also,” Mr Sharma said adding these will be processed taking into account “limited time”.
On June 14, there will be India-Kyrgyzstan bilateral segment on the sidelines of the Summit.
“One thing we can say here is that there is consensus for Central Asia-India stronger ties,” Mr Sarma said.
Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who is also SCO chairperson, attended the oath taking ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and his council of ministers in Delhi on May 30.
“We have a very active bilateral relationship with Kyrgyzstan,” he said adding there have been several high level engagements and meeting of ministers from both sides too including a visit by PM Modi in 2015.
There will be also a business summit between FICCI and the business chambers of Kyrgyzstan.
Mr Sarma further said there is a possibility of India-Kyrgyzstan Textiles Exhibition on Thursday, June 13.
Answering questions about the bilateral engagements with China and Russia, MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar said, “These are formal bilateral meetings, but the agenda will net be revealed or discussed now”.
To a question whether presence of Pakistan in the SCO will ‘not derail’ the forum as has been the case with SAARC in the past, Mr Sarma said: “There is an understanding in the SCO that there should be focus on SCO and there is greater scope of cooperation and contentious issues are not really pushed in a big way”.
“While working with SCO, we have not really seen great scope for such initiative where contentious issues are pushed forward,” Mr Sarma said.
He further said anti-terror issues are at the “hearts” of the SCO efforts and India is happy to be part of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO.
However to a specific question, Mr Sarma said – “If you look at the past deliberations at SCO meet, terrorism does figure”.
UNI

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