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PM Modi at SCO Amid Global Geopolitical Changes: What to Expect

The 19th SCO summit in Bishkek is PM Modi’s first multi-lateral meet after returning to power for the second term.

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In his first multi-lateral meeting after coming to power for the second term, Prime Minister Modi is at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek. The question is what does India hope to achieve diplomatically from this grouping?

BloombergQuint’s Harsha Subramaniam discusses Modi’s visit with Virendra Gupta, former diplomat and former deputy director at the Insititute of Defence Study and Analysis and former Foreign Secretary Salman Haider.

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Extremely Fruitful Meeting With Xi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday, 13 June said he had an "extremely fruitful" meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during which they discussed the full spectrum of bilateral relations and vowed to work together to improve the economic and cultural ties.

The meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit s their first interaction after Modi's re-election following the stunning victory of the BJP in the general elections last month.

The meeting also comes a month after a UN Security Council committee designated Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its technical hold on the proposal to blacklist him.

"Had an extremely fruitful meeting with President Xi Jinping. Our talks included the full spectrum of India-China relations. We shall continue working together to improve economic and cultural ties between our nations," Modi tweeted.

The meeting began with Xi congratulating Modi over his election victory.

"On behalf of all Indians, I wish you a very happy birthday," Modi told Xi, greeting the Chinese leader who will turn 66 on 15 June.

"As you said, in the days to come, we both can progress on several subjects. We both have a contemporary tenure to work more," he said.

"After our meeting in Wuhan, we have seen a new momentum and stability in our relations. There has been a rapid progress in the strategic communication between the two sides, leading to be more sensitive towards each other's concerns and interests. And there has been new areas for further cooperation since then," Modi told Xi.

The 2018 Wuhan summit between Modi and Xi was largely credited to have turned around the bilateral ties soured by the 73-day Doklam standoff, triggered by Chinese troops attempts to build a road close to Indian border in an area also claimed by Bhutan in 2017.

President Xi confirmed his readiness to visit India this year for the next informal summit.

The two sides agreed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in a "fitting manner" by holding 70 events - 35 each - in both countries, Gokhale said.

Modi and Xi noted that they'll have more opportunities to meet at multilateral meetings, including at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan in June.

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Modi’s Meet with Putin

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he had an "excellent" meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and they reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further boost the strategic relationship.

"PM @narendramodi and President Putin had a wonderful meeting in Bishkek. Various subjects pertaining to India-Russia relations were discussed during the meeting," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.

Prime Minister Modi said that the meeting with President Putin was "excellent." "We had wide-ranging discussions on ways to further boost the India-Russia strategic relationship. We look forward to increased trade and people-to-people linkages with Russia," he said.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the two leaders "reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further strengthen the strategic relationship." Briefing the media after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that it was a "brief but very very rich" meeting in terms of content.

PM Modi Meets Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

PM Modi on Thursday also met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on the sidelines of the SCO Summit and discussed the role being played by India towards an inclusive peace process in the conflict-hit nation.

"Late night meeting between trusted friends. PM @narendramodi met with Afghan President @ashrafghani on sidelines of #SCOsummit in Bishkek," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted after the meeting.

The two leaders "shared perspectives on situation in Afghanistan, including the role played by India towards an inclusive peace process", he said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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