Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
“Deepening friendship with China. PM @narendramodi’s first meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit is with President Xi Jinping. Both leaders are discussing ways to further strengthen bilateral relations,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said, “There was a brief discussion on Pakistan. PM Modi recalled his efforts, which he said were derailed. PM Modi said that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terror and at this stage we do not see this happening.” “We expect it to take concrete action,” Gokhale added.
“The major highlight was the fact that Sino-India relations cannot be looked at through the prism of Pakistan. Therefore, there is a need to take more confidence building measures,” Gokhale said.
“Prime minister noted what had improved between the two sides is strategic communication and in that context, we have been able to resolve long pending issues like opening of Bank of China branch in India and issues related to the listing of Masood Azhar”, said Gokhale.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held the second bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“A special partner, a privileged relationship! PM @narendramodi met with @KremlinRussia_E Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of #SCOSummit in #Bishkek. Reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further strengthen the strategic relationship,” External Affairs Ministry (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
A statement issued by the Kremlin quoted Putin saying that in the course of the past years, the two sides have done a great deal to promote their inter-state relations.
“They have developed steadily, including through your personal efforts and your attention to the development of Russian-Indian relations,” he was quoted as saying.
“We have a very busy agenda ahead – and not just within the framework of our work here in Bishkek, but also at various other platforms that we plan to use for further communication. Apart from everything else, I would like to invite you to be the main guest of the Eastern Economic Forum, which will be held in Vladivostok in September,” Putin told Modi.
India and Russia signed a $ 5 billion S-400 air defence system deal in October last year. But the deal could result in US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) instituted by the US Congress on arms purchases from Russia.
The SCO is a China-led 8-member economic and security bloc with India and Pakistan being admitted to the grouping in 2017.