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Why is PM Narendra Modi in Uzbekistan?

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraSep 16, 2022 | 12:00

Why is PM Narendra Modi in Uzbekistan?

PM Modi arrived in Uzbekistan's Samarkand on Thursday. (Photo: @narendramodi)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Uzbekistan's Samarkand on Thursday (September 15) to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit. The summit, which will also see the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, is being held in person after 2 years.

At the airport, PM Modi was welcomed by Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Governor of Samarkand region and other ministers. "Landed in Samarkand to take part in the SCO Summit," PM Modi tweeted.

During the SCO summit, PM Modi is expected to discuss security challenges, boosting trade between the group nations and energy supplies. He will also hold bilateral talks with a few country leaders.

What all will he do in Uzbekistan? In his pre-departure statement, PM Modi had said he was looking forward to exchanging views on topical regional and international issues as well as on expansion and further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the grouping.

"Under the Uzbek Chairship, a number of decisions for mutual cooperation are likely to be adopted in areas of trade, economy, culture and tourism," the prime minister's office (PMO) stated.

"I will be visiting Samarkand at the invitation of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to attend the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)," the press release read.

 

The SCO summit: The SCO was launched in Shanghai in June 2001. It has eight full members including its six founding members - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined the group as full members in 2017.

  • The summit this time will hold more significance as two of its founding members are involved in serious geo-political issues. While Russia invaded Ukraine six months back and is involved in a full-fledged war, China has had a troubled relationship with the West recently over its claim on Taiwan.
  • The SCO summit in Samarkand will have two sessions - one restricted session which is only meant for the SCO member states and then there will be an extended session that is likely to see the participation of the observers and the special invitees of the chair country, reported PTI.

Bilateral meetings: PM Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet in Uzbekistan. "There are plans to discuss issues of 'saturation' of the Indian market with Russian fertilisers and bilateral food supplies,"  Reuters quoted the Kremlin's handout. The meeting will be the first since the Russia-Ukraine war began in February 2022.

  • After the recent disengagement of the Chinese and Indian armies along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, there are reports that PM Modi might also meet Xi Jinping in Samarkand. Experts think if the meeting happens, India's focus will remain completely on disengagement and de-escalation from remaining friction points to return to the April 2020 status quo, reported India Today.
  • PM Modi would also be holding bilateral talks with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Last updated: September 16, 2022 | 16:48
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