PM Modi's two-day visit to Kyrgyzstan begins from Thursday; will meet Xi, Putin 

WION Bishkek, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan Jun 12, 2019, 05.46 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo: PM Narendra Modi. Photograph:( ANI )

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The second day of PM's Kyrgyzstan trip will have two components - his participation at the SCO summit and his engagement with the Kyrgyz counterpart. 

PM Modi will be in Kyrgyzstan on a two-day visit starting Thursday during which he will be participating in the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit and hold a number of bilateral meetings. This is the first multilateral summit that PM Modi will be attending after the recently concluded general elections.

In a pre-departure statement ahead of the SCO summit, PM said, "We attach special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region".

Explaining further, "India has actively participated in various SCO dialogue mechanisms since its full membership of SCO two years ago. We have extended full cooperation to the Chairmanship of the Kyrgyz Republic over the past year."

PM Modi will not be using Pakistan's airspace for his Kyrgyzstan visit, instead, he will flying over Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries to reach the country.

Air India has confirmed that the route does not cross Pakistan's airspace in any way. India had explored two options for the route to be taken by PM's aircraft to Bishkek. 

The prime minister will be reaching Kyrgyzstan by midday on Thursday and is set to have a packed day. His first engagement will be inaugurating India-Kyrgyz textile exhibition along with Kyrgystan's President Sooronbay Jeenbekov on the theme of "Colors and Weaves of India and Central Asia”. 

Watch: PM Modi's tough stand against terror, no meet with Imran Khan

The first day will also see him meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This will be his first meeting with the Chinese President this year and first since the listing of Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the United Nations. Later this year, Jinping will be visiting India for the second informal summit. 

Last year PM Modi and Chinese President met four times starting with the Wuhan informal summit followed by a meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit in China, the BRICS summit in South Africa and the G20 summit in Argentina. 

The second day of PM's Kyrgyzstan trip will have two components - his participation at the SCO summit and his engagement with the Kyrgyz counterpart. 

India is expected to raise a number of issues, from terror to trade to connectivity and ties with central Asia at the summit. New Delhi became an SCO member in 2017 and this is the second time PM Modi is participating in the summit.

"Prime Minister, when he participates, when he makes his intervention, he will reflect the Indian concerns and priorities with respect to the SCO process," Secretary West, Gitesh Sarma said in a media briefing ahead of the summit.

The organization 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. 

"We live in a globalised world. The distances are much shorter and multilateralism of this order is the new order of the world relationship," Alok A Dimri, Indian envoy to Kyrgyzstan, told WION in Bishkek.

In the afternoon of June 14, the prime minister will participate in India Kyrgyz Business Forum followed by his bilateral meet with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. Remember, India had invited the Kyrgyz president for the oathtaking ceremony of PM Modi on May 30 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Reacting on the invite, Kyrgyz Envoy Asein Isaev had told WION, "It was a big surprise. We were very excited by this invitation. Our president immediately answered, and immediately arrived. He was in Kazakhstan and after that, he had to go to Saudi Arabia. He only had half a day but he decided to directly come here".

This is the second visit of PM Modi to the central Asian country. In his first term, he had visited all the central Asian countries. 

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs has clarified that there will be no structured formal talks between PM Modi and Pakistan's PM Imran Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit but a pull aside is something that is keeping everyone on tenterhooks with huge media presence from both India and Pakistan in Bishkek.