The 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit will formally begin today at Astana in Kazakhstan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the summit today. The leaders of six-member countries will take part in the summit and discuss several issues including peace and security in the region. India is set to join as full member of the SCO comprising China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The highlight of this year’s summit is the accession of India and Pakistan to the SCO. With their induction, the SCO will expand its geographical coverage to South Asia and become one of the biggest regional organisations.
Prime Minister Modi yesterday called on Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev as his first engagement in Astana. Both the leaders discussed ways to expand bilateral ties and security situation in the region. Prime Minister Modi also attended a concert at Astana Opera where he exchanged greetings with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. The Prime Minister enquired about Sharif’s health.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Astana yesterday afternoon on a two-day visit to Kazakhstan to participate in the SCO summit. The Prime Minister will hold a number of bilateral meetings today with leaders of SCO member countries. He will hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping over breakfast and later with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Prime Minister Modi will also take part in the inauguration of Astana Expo 2017, a world class exhibition that will be held over the next three months.