PM Modi & Shehbaz Sharif ‘unlikely’ to meet at SCO, Pakistani media

Islamabad: A meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Shehbaz Sharif is unlikely during the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organi­sation (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on September 15 and 16.

“No meeting is envisaged with the Indian prime mini­ster,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Asim Iftikhar told Dawn.

An official, when contacted, said though a brief courtesy meeting between the two was possible, they would not be holding talks.

None of the two sides have sought a meeting, the official added.

The Pakistan foreign office in a statement, however, confirmed that Prime Minister Sharif would attend the 22nd annual Meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of SCO.

“Besides attending the summit, the prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines of the CHS,” it said.

PM Modi is also expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jingping and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the SCO summit.

SCO, a largest regional bloc in world

The SCO is a major trans-regional organisation spanning South and Central Asia. Founded in 2001. It is the largest regional bloc in the world comprising eight full members—India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

The SCO upholds the values and principles enshrined in the “Shanghai Spirit” that include mutual trust, mutual benefit and pursuit of common development.

The summit will be attended by 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, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs had said.

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