India won’t use Pakistan air space for PM Modi’s flight to Bishkek for SCO Summit: MEA

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Published: June 12, 2019 4:05:40 PM

PM Narendra Modi is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of SCO Summit.

modi foreign visitModi’s aircraft will fly over Oman, Iran and several other Central Asian countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not fly over Pakistan while travelling to Kyrgyz capital Bishkek to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. Modi’s aircraft will fly over Oman, Iran and several other Central Asian countries, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday.

“The government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told the media on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, India had requested Pakistan to let Modi’s flight pass throught its airspace. Pakistan had approved India’s request ‘in principle’. Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan would also be attending the summit.

The SCO Summit will be held on June 13-14 in Bishkek. The SCO includes China, Russia, India, and Pakistan and countries of Central Asia including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan who have been focusing on fighting terrorism, separatism, and extremism. India and Pakistan had become full members of the grouping in 2017.

At the Bishkek summit, connectivity is expected to be one of the key issues. India is committed to connectivity in the SCO region and has been involved in several projects like the International North-South Transport Corridor, the development of Chabahar Port and active participation in specific projects like Ashgabat Agreement.

PM Narendra Modi is likely to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of SCO Summit. This will be Modi’s first meeting with the two premiers after he assumed office for a second term.

Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 26 after an Indian Air Force (IAF) strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. Since then, it has only opened two of its 11 routes for commercial airlines, both of which pass through southern Pakistan.

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