Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek for the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting of head of states, which starts today.
The PM will hold bilateral meetings with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the summit.
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.
The Ministry said the Government had explored two options for the route to be taken by the aircraft to Bishkek for the SCO Summit.
“The government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is also attending the SCO meet. But there will be no meeting between the Pakistani leader and PM Modi.
“There is no meeting which is being organised between Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, at SCO Summit. There is nothing more that we can add at this stage,” MEA spokesperson Kumar said at a press conference in New Delhi.
At the meeting of the China-led eight-member SCO, 4 head of states will also attend as observers.
India and Pakistan were together admitted as full members in the SCO in July 2017.