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Modi to attend SCO Summit in China today, no formal meet with Pak PM
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SHANGHAI, June 8 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in China on Saturday on a two-day visit to attend the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit where India is likely to pitch for concerted regional and global action against terror networks and favour effective connectivity links to boost trade.

However, India has said that there will be no formal meeting between Modi and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, who is also attending the summit.

"Neither have we, nor has Pakistan asked for a formal meeting. But during such summits (SCO Summit), leaders may talk on the sidelines. There will be no formal meeting (with Pakistan)," confirmed Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale.

India became a full member of the the China-dominated grouping last year and New Delhi's entry into it is expected to increase the eight-member group's heft in regional geo-politics and trade negotiations besides giving it a pan-Asian hue.

Hours after his arrival in this central port city, Modi is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during which the two leaders are expected to explore ways to deepen ties in areas of trade and investment besides reviewing the overall bilateral cooperation.

The meeting is taking place weeks after the two leaders held an informal summit in central China's Wuhan city during which they exchanged views on solidifying the relationship between the two Asian powers.

In meeting, Modi and Xi are likely to take stock of the progress in the implementation of decisions they had taken at the informal summit.

About the SCO summit, officials said India will pitch for evolving effective ways to deal with the growing challenge of terrorism and enhancing security cooperation among SCO countries.

India is also keen on deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

India was an observer at the SCO since 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.

The officials said India is also likely to focus on importance of regional connectivity projects to boost trade among members of the SCO countries.

India has been strongly pushing for connectivity projects like the Chabahar port project and International North-South Transport Corridor to gain access to resource-rich Central Asian countries.

Sources indicated that India's focus would be to include its concerns over cross border terrorism in the final outcome document.

India has been raising the issue of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in various multilateral forums with an aim to build pressure on Islamabad to dismantle the terror infrastructure operating from that country.

Modi is expected to hold nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries.


News Updated at : Saturday, June 9, 2018
 
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