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PM Modi reaches Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan for 2-day SCO summit

PM Modi. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 13, 2019, 01.32 PM (IST)

PM Modi arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on Thursday afternoon to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held here on June 13 and 14.

The prime minister had left for Bishkek in the morning at around 7:30 am.

His aircraft reached Kyrgyzstan by flying over Oman, Iran and several central Asian countries avoiding Pakistan's airspace.

If PM Modi had flown over Pakistan it would have taken three-and-a-half hours to reach Bishkek. His flight now took six hours to reach the destination.

The decision to avoid Pak's airspace was made on Wednesday even as Pakistan said it will "specially" open its airspace for the flight of Prime Minister Modi to Bishkek to attend the SCO summit.

The decision also came over a week after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi wrote separate letters to their Indian counterparts, pushing for restarting bilateral talks.

During his visit to the country, PM Modi will hold meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Kyrgyzstan's President Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

This is the first multilateral summit PM Modi will be attending after the elections.

The SCO represents 42 per cent of the world’s population, 22 per cent of its land area and 20 per cent of its GDP and New Delhi sees it as a platform to engage with central Asian countries.