New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15-16 to attend the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday.
The Prime Minister is going there at the invitation of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The Summit will be attended by the leaders of the eight SCO-member countries which includes Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“The SCO Summit will be attended by leaders of SCO Member States, Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
During the Summit, the leaders are expected to review the organisation’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation in the future, the Ministry added.
Topical issues of regional and global importance are also expected to be discussed at the meeting.
The eight leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are: the host Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov and Tajkistan’s President Emomali Rahmon.
Besides, the leaders of the eight member countries, three observer countries and four invited guest countries will also attend the Summit.
The leaders of the observer countries include Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh.
The leaders who have been invited as guests are Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedow.
It is not completely clear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with China’s Xi Jinping or not, however, the Ministry of External Affairs said that Modi is “likely to hold a few bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Summit”.
Notably, Modi and Jinping are taking part in the Summit at a time when the disengagement process between Indian and Chinese troops in the Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) area has started on Sept 8 and it will be completed by Sept 12 as per the understanding reached between the two sides.
The landforms in the area will be restored to pre-stand-off period by both sides.
Indian and Chinese troops have agreed to cease forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
It has also been agreed that all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides will be dismantled and mutually verified.
According to the agreement, the LAC in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that “there will be no unilateral change in status quo.”
The SCO Summit is taking place amid significant global developments including the Ukraine conflict and the Taiwan strait crisis.
This will be the first in-person SCO Summit in three years. The last in-person Summit was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.