NEW DELHI: While there will no formal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kazakhstan, sources indicated that he is likely to meet his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the summit.
“There is a possibility of a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and the Chinese President at SCO Astana, but nothing is confirmed as of now,” an MEA official said.
A day before the leaving for the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he looked forward to deepening India’s association with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a summit of the six nations.
During the summit in Astana, India and Pakistan will be become full members of the Eurasian group comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Modi said India had long-standing relations with the SCO members and he looked forward to progressing them further through the grouping for “mutual betterment and growth of our countries and our people.”
“I look forward to deepening India’s association with the SCO which will help us in economic, connectivity and counter- terrorism cooperation, among other things,” he said in his pre-departure statement.
PM Modi said at this meeting, on completion of the process, India will become a full member of the SCO upon which SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 per cent of the global GDP. “We launched the process of full membership in Tashkent meeting of the SCO last year,” he said.
“Together, we will harvest new opportunities for beneficial engagement and redouble efforts to address common challenges that may come in the way of realizing our full potential,” he added.
On the evening of June 9, he will also attend the inauguration of the Astana Expo which has the theme “Future Energy”.
With Pakistan also expected to be granted full membership at the Astana Summit, the two South Asian neighbours are going to be the seventh and eighth members of the SCO.