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India, China & Pakistan Foreign Ministers to meet at SCO Summit in Uzbekistan

Source : Republic

India, China & Pakistan Foreign Ministers to meet at SCO Summit in Uzbekistan
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar (Left), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Center) and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (Right)

India, Pakistan, and China this week are set to meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ Summit in Uzbekistan. This will be the first ever since the ouster of Imran Khan’s government in Islamabad when External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. Subramanian Jaishankar will sit for a direct conversation with Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from the incumbent Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) administration.

The potential meeting was indicated by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a presser on July 22 (Thursday).

The SCO Summit is scheduled to take place on September 15 and 16 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. While the conference on Afghanistan will be conducted on July 25 and 26, the FMs meeting will take place on July 28 and 29. However, the MEA did not inform about bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also be attending the summit under the Uzbek presidency.

According to reports, Yi is expected to review the outcome of the 16th round or negotiations between military commanders of New Delhi and Beijing over the spat at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh in a possible bilateral meeting with Dr. Jaishankar.

PM Modi likely to meet Xi Jinping at SCO Summit

The Foreign Ministers meeting is likely to pave the way for a comprehensive meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the September Summit for the first time in six years, The News reported. If it happens, the meeting will also see Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in attendance. Although no structured meetings have been confirmed by the MEA yet, diplomatic sources said that any requests for bilateral meetings from Pakistan will not be turned down.

For the unversed, India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan are members of the SCO. This year, the summit will be hosted by Uzbekistan under a rotating presidency. The priorities of the meeting have been stressed by the chair, which includes efforts to eradicate poverty and food insecurity, put together trade and development between the partners to ensure peace and stability, digitalise customs processes, and more.

Tensions between India, China and Pakistan

The contention between China and India has remained high after the border stand-off in Eastern Ladakh. Meanwhile, unlike Imran Khan, Shehbaz Sharif in his inaugural speech on assuming PM office clearly stated that he hoped for “good relations with India.” However, he highlighted that for cordial ties, the issue of Kashmir remained vital. Sharif also decried scrapping of Article 370, following the repercussions in Jammu and Kashmir.  

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