Thu, 01 Dec 2022

New Delhi [India], September 15 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS) in Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said on Thursday.

"Russian President Putin is going to participate in the forthcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. PM Modi is also going. We've already announced that there will be a number of meetings in Samarkand, including with PM Modi," Alipov said in an interview with ANI.

The 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the SCO Member States (SCO-CoHS) is set to commence on Thursday in Samarkand in Uzbekistan after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"SCO has been very succesful. It is an established organisation with various mechanisms and extensive cooperation on various tracks. Hundreds of mechanisms operate under the SCO organisation, not only on political matters and matters related to security, but primarily in economic area, in trade, and in creating opportunities, jobs for the people of the member countries," the Russian envoy said.

"This is an organisation that has been a factor of stability in the region. Its influence increasing reflected in the intentions and desire of many countries to join the organisation," Alipov added.

This SCO summit would be the first in-person SCO-CoHS Summit, after the last one held in June 2019 in Bishkek, before the Covid pandemic hit the world as the subsequent two summits under the chairmanship of Russia and Tajikistan were held in virtual format.

Leaders of SCO Member States, Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests would attend the meeting.

The leaders of the SCO member countries will hold bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, as they are meeting after two years due to the COVID pandemic. The leaders are expected to review the organization's activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of multilateral cooperation. Topical issues of regional and global importance are also expected to be discussed at the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the summit for two days, today and on Friday, where he would hold bilateral meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He would also have other bilateral meetings during the summit which begins on September 14 at SamarkandPakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are also expected to attend the summit. Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022. India will be the next chair of the SCO.

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).

SCO has potential in various new sectors, wherein all the member-states could find converging interests. India has already pushed hard for cooperation in Startups and Innovation, Science and Technology and Traditional Medicine.

India, from the time of its full membership, made sincere efforts to encourage peace, prosperity, and stability of the whole Eurasian region in general and SCO member countries in particular.

The SCO provides India with an opportunity to initiate multilateral and regional initiatives on counter-terrorism and deal with the illicit drug trade, which is now being used by its neighbours to inflict social wounds and target India's youth.

Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022. India will be the next chair of the SCO. (ANI)

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