Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held bilateral talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that President Putin has invited the PM to be the main guest at Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok in early September.

“PM Modi has accepted the invitation,” he said.

Gokhale said that India, Russia and China will be holding a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 14th G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. The Summit, the first to be hosted by Japan, will be held on 28–29 June 2019.

During his talks with Putin, PM Modi thanked the Russian President for his country’s support in the installation of a rifle manufacturing unit in Amethi during bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek.

“I am grateful for your support for the rifle manufacturing unit in Amethi,” the PM told Putin during the bilateral talks between India and Russia.

On 3 March, PM Modi launched an AK-203 rifle manufacturing unit in the Uttar Pradesh city as part of the Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd – a joint venture between India’s Ordnance factory and a Russian firm.

PM Modi also thanked Putin saying that he gained a lot of energy from the faith imposed in him by the Russian President. The PM described Putin as an “old and close friend”.

At the same time, the PM expressed his gratitude to Putin for bestowing Russia’s highest honour – Order of St Andrew the Apostle – for promoting bilateral special and privileged strategic partnership.

The two leaders reviewed all aspects of bilateral relations to further strengthen the strategic relationship.

Before his meeting with Putin, PM Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping for bilateral talks.

“PM noted what had improved between 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 issue related to listing of Masood Azhar,” Gokhale told the media following the meeting.

Gokhale also said that there was a brief discussion on Pakistan.

“PM recalled that he has made efforts and these efforts have been derailed, that Pakistan needs to create atmosphere free of terror and at this stage we do not see this happening. We expect it to take concrete action,” he said.

“Building on the momentum of high-level exchanges, PM @narendramodi had a warm meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Leaders discussed all aspects of enriching our bilateral relations & recognised the positive role of strategic communication in deepening our partnership,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The PM arrived in Bishkek on Thursday for the two-day SCO meeting of head of states, which starts today.

Senior Kyrgyzstani dignitaries welcomed the PM at the Manas International Airport at Bishkek. The PM was also offered a traditional snack from the rich Kyrgyzstani cuisine.

“Over the next 32 hours, PM will have intensive diplomatic engagements related to #SCO Council of States Meeting followed by a bilateral visit,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

This is PM Modi’s first multi-lateral summit following his re-election as the Prime Minister.

The PM reached Bishkek via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries bypassing Pakistani airspace. The Indian government had initially requested Pakistan to grant exception to PM Modi’s aircraft. Islamabad had acceded to the request but the Indian government then did a change of plans.