Bishkek, Osaka Modi's first foreign stops in 2nd term

Bishkek, Osaka Modi's first foreign stops in 2nd term

Picture credit: Reuters

Narendra Modi, who is set to retain the office of Prime Minister, will restart his foreign visits next month with back-to-back tours to Bishkek (the capital of Kyrgyz Republic) and Osaka (Japan).

Modi will attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which will be held in Bishkek on June 14 and 15. This is going to be the first foreign visit of his second term in the Prime Minister's office. He will also attend the G-20 summit, which will be held in Osaka on June 28 and 29.

The PM is likely to run into his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan, at the SCO summit in Bishkek. This will be the first time after the cricketer-turned-politician took over the top office in Islamabad.

New Delhi and Islamabad are learnt to be in touch informally to explore the possibility of a bilateral meeting between Modi and Khan to set the stage for a thaw after the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan. This was following the February 14 terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir and India's retaliatory air strike on a terror camp inside Pakistan on February 26.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin may also attend the summit of the eight-nation-bloc in the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic. It is however still not clear if Modi will have bilateral meetings with Xi and Putin on the sidelines of the conclave.

The PM, however, may have a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka. He and Trump may also join Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the summit, for the second Japan-America-India (JAI) trilateral talks.

Modi, Putin and Xi may also hold the trilateral Russia-India-China (RIC) talks on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.

Thimphu was Modi's first foreign destination after he took over as Prime Minister in 2014. He visited the capital of Bhutan on June 15 and 16, less than a month after being sworn into the top office in New Delhi. He visited 59 nations in six continents during his first tenure, the last being a visit to South Korea on February 21 and 22 this year.