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SCO Summit: PM Modi to Meet Putin & Xi on Sidelines, but Not Imran

Modi will attend the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 13 and 14 June.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting each with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 13 and 14 June.

The summit will review SCO’s work in the past year and draw up a plan for cooperation this year, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui told a media briefing, reports PTI.

This will be the first major international event that the Prime Minister will attend post re-elections.

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No India-Pak Bilateral Talks

PM Modi currently has no plans to hold bilateral talks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan who will also be present at the summit.

According to ANI, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said:

“There is no meeting which is being organised between Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan at SCO Summit. There is nothing more that we can add at this stage.”
Raveesh Kumar to ANI

Chinese officials, according to PTI, have been expressing hope that both countries will make use of the organisation to improve relations and not make it a platform to highlight their differences.

Modi & Xi’s Meeting

China has expressed hope that President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will discuss their respective trade frictions with the US and the two "good friends" could reach a consensus on opposing "trade protectionism" during their bilateral meeting at Bishkek, reported PTI.

The two had participated in an informal summit in Wuhan April 2018, which marked a significant improvement of Indo-China relations, which had become sour post the 2017 standoff in Doklam in Bhutan, after Chinese troops had started constructing a road in the area.

“While the details for the meeting are under discussion, I believe every bilateral meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi is very important. From the Chinese side, we will make good preparations for the success of (this) bilateral meeting.”
Zhang Hanhui, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister

He added the China-US trade war and trade frictions between the US and India could become important part of the discussions between the two leaders.

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Xi To Meet Imran

Zhang also said Xi will meet Imran Khan and the two leaders will focus their talks on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as counter terrorism related issues.

The SCO has, according to PTI, made counter terrorism cooperation one of its main focus areas. It has built up the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) which focuses on periodic counter-terrorism exercises. India and Pakistan are a part of this initiative.

This year's summit could also discuss issues like multilateralism and protectionism in the context of US trade tensions, besides several other countries including India, added Zhang.

The SCO, which is led by China, was formed in 2001 as an Asia-centric economic and security bloc. Its founding members include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

(With inputs from ANI and multiple PTI reports.)

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