PM Modi to meet President Xi at sidelines of SCO summit

New Delhi, June 8 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will hold meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Qingdao but there is no formal meeting with Pakistan.

Both the leaders will discuss ways to implement the decisions taken at the informal summit little over a month ago in Wuhan.

Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale said ” There will be a bilateral meeting between PM & President Xi tomorrow & there are many things that the leaders look forward to discussing, they’ll most probably take forward what was discussed during informal summit in Wuhan.”

Denying any formal meeting with Pakistan leader, Bambawale stated “Neither have we nor has Pakistan asked for a formal meeting but during such summits (SCO Summit) leaders may talk on the sidelines but there will be no formal meeting (with Pakistan).

“There is no doubt that India-China relations have gone through a transformation after Wuhan informal summit, we have left #Doklam crisis behind & moved forward to better ties,”Envoy said.

The prime minister will be participating in the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, being held under the chairmanship of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on June 9 and 10 in Qingdao, Shandong province, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

India will again raise the issue of terrorism and effective ways to enhance security cooperation among SCO countries when Prime Minister Narendra Modi participates in the grouping’s summit in Qingdao this week.

Indian envoy to China said, “This is the first summit wherein India is participating with complete membership & so will Pakistan, terror will certainly be a substantial part of discussions.”

Meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit were being finalised, ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a media briefing.

Though the officials of India, Japan, the US and Australia met in Singapore on Thursday, New Delhi’s take on the huddle, which is seen as counter to the rising China in the Indo-Pacific region, was nuanced.

Modi is expected to hold nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries.

“They have identified four areas — politics, security, economic and cultural cooperation. There is something called Shanghai spirit which needs to be strengthened, which talks about mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development,” he said, elaborating on the areas the member nations were likely to focus during the summit.

He said a discussion on regional and international issues was also expected when the leaders meet for the summit.

Kumar said there were multiple objectives of India’s participation such as “common development, connectivity, strengthening relationship with Central Asian countries, and terrorism — how do we use this platform to fight terrorism and the scourge of terrorism in today’s world”.

“It is important for us to ensure peace and security in the SCO region and fight against the growing threat of terrorism,” he said.

India is also focussed on the connectivity aspect of it and this was evident with its involvement with several connectivity projects such as the International NorthSouth Transport Corridor (INSTC), the Chabahar port development, the Ashgabat agreement, IndiaMyanmarThailand Trilateral Highway projects and Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative among many others, Kumar said.

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