SCO summit: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said that there is no scheduled meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the backdrop of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit which will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan from Thursday. The ministry official also stated that the main areas of cooperation in the SCO for India will be the fight against terror, and promotion of trade, connectivity, energy and banking, ANI reported.
India and Pakistan will become permanent members of the China dominated SCO during the upcoming session. According to MEA, there is a possibility of a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and Chinese President, at SCO Astana, but nothing has been confirmed as of now.
Chinese officials, however, say that Beijing attaches importance to PM Modi’s meeting with President Xi. This would be the first high-level engagement between the leader of two nations after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held in China’s capital Beijing last month. India had abstained from the summit citing concern over the USD 50 billion CPEC, which is a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative as it passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), according to the Indian Express.
After Astana, the two leaders are also expected to meet at the G20 summit which would be held in Hamburg, Germany, next month. Post Astana Modi and Xi will meet during a BRICS summit which would be held in Xiamen, China, in September.
Currently, Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan are permanent members of the SCO, while India, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Belarus have an observer status in the group.