Political / PM Modi to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin at SCO

The Hindu : Jun 11, 2019, 10:14 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, the External Affairs Ministry said here on Monday.

“We are happy to confirm bilateral meetings with Russia and China. There are also similar requests from others,” said A. Gitesh Sarma, Secretary in charge of Western affairs in the Ministry.

Uzbekistan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov is also scheduled to hold a bilateral discussion with Mr. Modi.

Summit with Xi

Sources indicated that Prime Minister Modi was expected to reiterate his invite to President Xi to visit India for an informal summit later this year. The first informal summit was held in Wuhan last year.

The official spokesperson of the Ministry refused to confirm if Mr. Modi would hold a separate meeting with his counterpart from Pakistan, Imran Khan. Earlier, India had stated that there was no confirmation of such an official meeting.

A source, however, confirmed that India had asked for Pakistan’s permission to use an air corridor for the Bishkek-bound flight of Mr. Modi. The source, however, said that the details of the request were not yet known due to security reasons.

The SCO summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, on June 14 will be the first multilateral meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his re-election in the Lok Sabha election.

Mr. Sarma said issues related to terrorism, Afghanistan, regional security, multilateral dialogue and global scenario would be part of the discussion at the summit.

RATS participation

Mr. Sarma said that India was satisfied with the participation in the Regional Anti-Terror Structure (RATS). India has been participating in tactical drills and counter-terror cooperation with other SCO member countries under the RATS, which has its headquarters in Tashkent.

In August 2018, India joined Pakistan in a tactical military exercise under the SCO’s RATS. Mr. Sarma said that India was expected to participate in a military exercise in Russia under the RATS.