At Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, India-Uzbekistan Discuss Bilateral Ties

Pakistan       by Nozair Hanif Mirza | Published

Describing the almost hour-long meeting as "substantial" and "forward looking", foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said both leaders made a very positive assessment of developments since they last met in the central city of Wuhan during April 28-29. India and Pakistan became its members past year.

Modi said he would talk to leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's countries and discuss a "wide range of subjects" with them.

Though new and old contentious issues remain, there has been a turnaround in bilateral ties since the military standoff was resolved last August.

Gokhale said the meeting had a "very positive forward looking momentum" which was underpinned by spirit of the Wuhan summit.

Sharing some aspects of the almost 50-minute meeting, the foreign secretary said Xi described the Wuhan summit as a "new starting point" in bilateral relations between the two countries while prime minister called it as a "milestone" in ties which will help in developing mutual understanding and trust.

On the occasion, President Mamnoon said that Pakistan supported the Chinese chairmanship of SCO and appreciated the various initiatives proposed by China in the organization during the previous year.

They agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity along the border and continuing strategic communications on the issue.

"SCO has been working and will continue to work in counter-terrorism", Indian envoy to China Gautam Bambawale said, adding that Sunday's Qingdao declaration will take a stand on the issue.

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Zhou also said he believed India and China had shared concerns on combating terrorism, as well as on promoting free trade and multilateralism, especially as China's relations with Donald Trump's administration faces growing tensions.

The two leaders also chose to set up a new mechanism for people-to-people cooperation to build on the momentum in bilateral ties from their unprecedented informal summit in Wuhan almost six weeks back.

This year's summit was expected to focus on the fight against terrorism, organized crime and cybersecurity, as well as trade and China's global infrastructure program. Indian pharmaceuticals are another potential item of export to China, he said.

This is the second meeting between Modi and Xi this year and the 14th in the past four years. "With each day, (Russian and Iranian relations) are developing forward".

"On Afghanistan, there was a brief discussion on the projects".

"The first meeting of this mechanism will be held this year", he said.

"So, we have to begin the process of identifying it (the project)", he added. Modi arrived here on Saturday afternoon for a two-day visit to attend the annual SCO Summit.

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