Ahead of his departure to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan's Samarkand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 15 September, said that he was looking forward to engage in discussions on topical, regional, and international issues as well as on expansion of the grouping.
Modi is set to join Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Iran's Ebrahim Raisi among others at the annual summit of the regional bloc on Friday, 16 September.
Ahead of the Summit, Xi Jinping and Putin on Thursday, held their first in-person talks since the Ukraine conflict began.
Prime Minister Modi is visiting Uzbekistan at the invitation of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as Uzbekistan is currently the chair of the SCO.
"At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional and international issues, the expansion of SCO and further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the Organisation," Modi said in a statement prior to his departure.
"Under the Uzbek chairship, a number of decisions for mutual cooperation are likely to be adopted in areas of trade, economy, culture and tourism," he said.
Modi said he was also looking forward to meeting President of Uzbekistan Mirziyoyev.
"I fondly recall his visit to India in 2018. He also graced the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as Guest of Honour in 2019. In addition, I will hold bilateral meetings with some of the other leaders attending the summit," Modi said.
Xi Jinping and Putin Hold Talks Ahead of Summit
In their first meeting since the Ukraine conflict began, Jinping, and Putin discussed various issues.
Jinping said that China was willing to work with Russia to "support each other's core interests."
Putin told Jinping that he valued his "balanced position" on Ukraine and condemned the United States' provocation in Taiwan. Putin also condemned the United States' "attempt to create a unipolar world."
"Attempts to create a unipolar world have recently acquired an absolutely ugly form and are completely unacceptable," he said.
Putin said that the SCO needs to be strengthened and that he was sure that this meeting between him and Xi would help strengthen the "Russian-Chinese partnership."
Putin also added that Russia welcomes energy cooperation with China and Mongolia.
(With inputs from PTI and TOI.)