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SCO Summit 2022: PM Modi in Uzbekistan, all set to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Earlier, Pakistan's foreign office ruled out a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shehbaz Sharif. Meanwhile, there is no official word from both India as well as China on a possible meeting between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

SCO Summit 2022: PM Modi in Uzbekistan, all set to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin AJR
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First Published Sep 16, 2022, 8:26 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday night landed in Samarkand, Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2022. According to a statement by the external affairs ministry, Uzbekistan's Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov received him at the airport.

Several ministers, governor of Samarkand, and government officials of the Uzbekistan government were also present at the airport to welcome the Indian prime minister.

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The external affairs ministry also said that PM Modi will participate in the SCO Summit on Friday morning and then hold bilateral meetings with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the event. The PM will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran's Ebrahim Raisi.

This is the first in-person meet among the member states after the summit was held in virtual format in 2021 and 2020 in Tajikistan and Russia, respectively, due to Covid-19 pandemic. There is no meeting lined up for the prime minister today.

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PM Modi and Russian President Putin last met in December 2021 when the Russian President visited India. They spoke with each as recently as February 24 after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. The two leaders are expected to discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20.

Earlier, Pakistan's foreign office ruled out a bilateral meeting between PM Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shehbaz Sharif. Meanwhile, there is no official word from both India as well as China on a possible meeting between Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Before leaving to Samarkand, the prime minister said that he will discuss regional as well as global issues, and expansion of the SCO during the summit.

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"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 added.

The summit, which is a two-day event, began earlier on Thursday, and has already featured meetings between Putin and Xi, and the Russian president and his Iranian counterpart.

The SCO currently comprises eight member states - China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four observer states interested in acceding to full membership - Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia, and six 'dialogue partners' - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

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