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Ahead of SCO summit, member countries say India has important role to play

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Bishkek, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Jun 11, 2019, 03.50 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

As leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet for the 19th summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Thursday many issues such as regional security architecture, counter-terror and trade would take centre stage. While India's presence in the group has been lauded by many members of the eight-country strong group, SCO Chair for this year, Kyrgyzstan told WION that New Delhi's experience can help other members in countering aforementioned issues.

Ambassador Asein Isaev, Kyrgyz's envoy to New Delhi said, "The main objective of the organisation is peaceful development of the region. We need Indian experience in all spheres -- democratic development, security possibilities, cultural development; also we hope, India will share the experience with other members of SCO."

Meanwhile, Uzbek envoy to India Farhod Arziev said New Delhi has an important role to play in the international grouping that covers three-fifths of the Eurasian continent and nearly half of the human population. 

He said, "We have supported full membership of India to SCO, and we believe it has been a big contribution to further expansion and development of the organisation as an international institution with India being one of the fastest growing countries. It has many things to offer for the development of SCO."

PM Modi will meet many world leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov who was invited for the oath-taking ceremony of PM Modi in May on the sidelines of the summit. 

This will be PM Modi's first meeting with Chinese President since the listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the United Nations. 

India has also made it clear no meeting between PM Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled. 

Raveesh Kumar, MEA's spokesperson in response to WION's question at the first weekly presser of the new government had said, "To the best of my knowledge no meeting has been planned between PM Modi and Pakistan PM Imran Khan at the SCO Summit in Bishkek."

Speculation is rife that both leaders may meet, especially with the visit of Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood to India on Eid. 

Indian foreign ministry has clarified on the visit,  saying it was a "personal visit and there was no meeting scheduled" between Pakistan Foreign Secretary and an Indian official. 

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This will be the first multilateral meet in Modi's second term as Prime Minister of the country.

India became a full member of the group in 2017 at the 17th summit of SCO in Astana, Kazakhstan.