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Jaishankar to represent India at SCO summit as PM Modi decides to skip it

It is learnt that Modi decided to skip the SCO summit in view of his planned two-nation trip to Russia and Austria. There is no official confirmation on Modi's visit to the two countries yet.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 16:22 IST

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will represent India at the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Astana next week as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to skip it.

Modi is set to visit Russia from July 8 to 9 in his first trip to that country in nearly five years. After concluding the visit to Russia, Modi is likely to travel to Austria on July 9 on a two-day trip.

It is learnt that Modi decided to skip the SCO summit in view of his planned two-nation trip to Russia and Austria. There is no official confirmation on Modi's visit to the two countries yet.

The SCO summit to be held on July 3 and 4 is expected to focus on the regional security situation and ways to boost connectivity and trade.

"The Indian delegation at the SCO summit will be led by external affairs minister S Jaishankar," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said at his weekly media briefing on Friday.

The situation in Afghanistan, the Ukraine conflict and boosting overall security cooperation among the SCO member countries are expected to figure in the summit.

The SCO comprising India, China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is an influential economic and security bloc that has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations.

Generally, the Indian prime minister participates in the SCO summit.

In a phone conversation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi conveyed to Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev India's full support for the success of the summit.

Kazakhstan is hosting the summit in its capacity as the current chair of the grouping.

India was the chair of the SCO last year. It hosted the SCO summit in the virtual format in July last year.

India's association with the SCO began in 2005 as an observer country. It became a full member state of the SCO at the Astana summit in 2017.

India has shown a keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan became its permanent member along with India in 2017.

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Published 28 June 2024, 16:22 IST

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