Decisions for mutual cooperation in areas of trade, economy, culture and tourism are likely to be adopted at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit under the Chairship of Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.

“At the SCO Summit, I look forward to exchanging views on topical, regional and international issues, the expansion of SCO and on further deepening of multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation within the organisation,” Modi said in his departure statement before leaving for Uzbekistan on Thursday.

The Indian PM is visiting Samarkand on a two-day official tour at the invitation of the Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to attend the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO which includes India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

No confirmation

Modi will also hold bilateral meetings with some of the other leaders attending the summit but there is no confirmation yet on whether he will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi already met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Uzbekistan. This was the first meeting between the two leaders since Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year, which has led to the Western nations imposing a number of economic sanctions on Moscow.

Modi is also scheduled to meet Uzbek President Mirziyoyev in Samarkand. “I fondly recall his (Mirziyoyev’s) visit to India in 2018. He also graced the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as its Guest of Honour in 2019,” the statement said. 

SCO was set up in June 2001, and India became a full member in 2017. The Council of the SCO Heads of State is the highest decision-making body of the organisation, and meets for an annual summit that is hosted by a member state by rotation.