Modi emplanes for India after SCO Summit, bilateral engagements

Bishkek: Wrapping up his visit to Kyrgyzstan after taking part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit and a string of other bilateral engagements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emplaned for New Delhi from Bishkek on Friday.

“Thank you to the exceptional people of the Kyrgyz Republic for hosting a productive SCO Summit. This Summit will boost multilateral cooperation and lead to many positive outcomes. I also thank the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and President Jeenbekov for the hospitality,” Modi tweeted.

While talks with Iran on Friday were shelved due to scheduling issues, he held successful bilaterals with China, Russia, Afghanistan, and Kyrgyzstan, apart from addressing the SCO Summit here.

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The Prime Minister also held a pull-aside meeting with President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus on the sidelines of the SCO Summit on Friday, according to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

He coined the acronym HEALTH during his address at the Summit, which is a template for strengthening cooperation amongst SCO member-states.

Expanding on the acronym, he said that the ‘H’ in HEALTH stands for Healthcare Cooperation, ‘E’ for Economic Cooperation, ‘A’ for Alternate Energy, ‘L’ for Literature and Culture, ‘T’ for Terrorism free society and ‘H’ for Humanitarian Cooperation.

Even though India did not hold any official talks with Pakistan — who is also an SCO member — in Bishkek, Modi exchanged “usual pleasantries” with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan in the Leaders’ Lounge at the SCO Summit.

Modi also jointly inaugurated the India-Kyrgyz Business Forum with Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov earlier today, following which the new strategic partners held a bilateral. He was also accorded a ceremonial welcome by Jeenbekov at the Ala Archa Presidential Palace in the Kyrgyz capital, which formally started off the Prime Minister’s bilateral visit to the Central Asian country.

15 documents were exchanged in various sectors in Modi and Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov’s presence at a joint presser which followed the India-Kyrgyz bilateral. India also proposed a 200 million dollar line of credit to Kyrgyzstan during wide-ranging talks with the country on Friday.

Even though Pakistan again showed its eagerness in holding talks to resolve all issues, India maintained its stance that Islamabad needed to create a terror-free atmosphere first — a position which was conveyed to Chinese President Xi Jinping by the Prime Minister during their bilateral on Thursday.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiralled following the deadly February 14 Pulwama terror attack. New Delhi has remained rooted in its stand, saying that terror and talks with Islamabad cannot go together. China is an all-weather ally of Pakistan.

The next SCO Summit will be hosted by Russia, the MEA confirmed in a special briefing here on Friday. India became a full member of the organisation in 2017 in Astana, along with Pakistan.


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