New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in the Uzbek city of Samarkand to attend Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit 2022. He is visiting Samarkand at the invitation of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. During the visit, PM Modi will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit. This will be their first face-to-face meeting since Moscow’s military attack on Ukraine. India has not taken any side in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and has repeatedly called for
immediate cessation of hostilities.
Chinese President XI Jinping is also travelling to Samarkand to attend the annual meeting. This is his first foreign visit since late 2019 when the pandemic struck. This will also be the first time PM Modi and Xi will come head to head, but whether they will hold any bilateral meeting is yet to be confirmed. The summit comes just days after India and China disengaged from the last friction point – Patrolling Point 15 – in eastern Ladakh.
The Russian Ambassador to India, Denis Alipov, on Thursday said that Putin is going to participate in the SCO Summit. PM Modi is also going. “We have already announced that there will be a number of meetings in Samarkand, including with PM Modi,” he said while speaking to news agency ANI.
Ahead of his departure, PM Modi said that at the SCO Summit, he will look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional, and international issues, the expansion of SCO, and on further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the organization.
Under the Uzbek Chairship, a number of decisions for mutual cooperation are likely to be adopted in areas of trade, economy, culture, and tourism. “I also look forward to meeting President Mirziyoyev in Samarkand. I fondly recall his visit to India in 2018. He also graced the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as its Guest of Honour in 2019. In addition, I will hold bilateral meetings with some of the other Leaders attending the Summit,” he said.