Today is the first day of the SCO meeting, and the prime minister is seated at a table with Xi and Putin

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Thursday night for the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is taking place at a time when the world is in upheaval as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s assertive behaviour toward Taiwan.

The arrival of the Prime Minister’s aeroplane coincided with the time that President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the SCO’s current chair nation, Uzbekistan, was hosting a dinner for other SCO leaders. Abdulla Aripov, the prime minister of Uzbekistan, met Modi at the airport in Samarkand.

Along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Modi will attend the summit on Friday. In a statement before leaving New Delhi, he said, “At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional, and international issues, the expansion of SCO, and further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the Organization.

A lot of decisions for bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, culture, and tourism are likely to be implemented under the Uzbek chairship, he said.

This is the first SCO summit that will take place in person since the leaders met in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in June 2019.

According to sources, there are roughly 30 documents on strengthening and improving the diverse cooperation between SCO member nations.

The Samarkand Declaration, which would set priorities for the future of the organisation and reflect similar approaches used by the SCO members to address regional and global concerns, is expected to be the main outcome of the summit.

Other significant summit documents include the Regulations on the honorary title of “Goodwill Ambassador of the SCO,” the Comprehensive Plan for the Implementation of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation, the Concept of Cooperation on the Development of Interconnectivity and Creation of Efficient Transport Corridors, and the Program for Stimulating Industrial Cooperation.

I recall his visit to India in 2018,” the Prime Minister, who would be meeting President Mirziyoyev, added. Additionally, he attended the 2019 Vibrant Gujarat Summit as Guest of Honor. I’ll also have one-on-one sessions with a few of the other summit participants.

President Xi will be in the conference room and the leaders’ lounge on Friday, so all eyes will be on a potential encounter between the two of them. This becomes important in light of the most recent round of Indian and Chinese troop disengagements at Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs region of eastern Ladakh.

With Putin, Raisi, and Mirziyoyev, Modi has three bilateral sessions planned for Friday afternoon at the summit.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra stated at a media briefing on Thursday that the Prime Minister’s attendance at the summit was evidence of the value India places on the SCO and its objectives.

The security situation in the region, the reform and growth of the SCO, our cooperation view in the region, including enhancing connectivity as well as growing trade and tourism in the region, were among the topics he predicted will be discussed during the summit.

When questioned about China’s expanding sway over the SCO, Kwatra said India remained committed to enhancing ties with Central Asia and its wider neighbourhood.

“We think the area, not any one nation, is at the centre of it. Every other nation has a unique view of how to work with Central Asian nations. We do not evaluate it from the standpoint of a third country outside the region since India’s perspective of the Central Asian countries is full in and of itself, he said.

The summit will consist of two sessions: a limited session reserved only for SCO member states, and an extended session where observers and special invitees of the chair country are likely to participate.