Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Samarkand in Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, the Indian community in Tashkent on Thursday sent a special gift to him. An Uzbek wall carpet with a picture of Modi was handed over to the Indian ambassador to Uzbekistan.
“Today, on behalf of 1800 Indians living in Uzbekistan, India Club Tashkent has got your picture painted on the Uzbek wall carpet as a mark of respect. We request you to kindly accept this small gift,” India Club wrote to the PM.
India Club’s chairman Ashok Kumar Tiwari said that all Indians associated with the organisation are pleased with Modi’s arrival in the country.
“The handicrafts of Uzbekistan are very famous in the entire world, and so with the help of the artisans here we have painted the picture of the PM on the Uzbek wall carpet, which we will gift him. We look forward to meeting him in person during this visit,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Modi is expected to depart from India today and reach Samarkand later for the 22nd SCO summit. The event is taking place after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prime minister is expected to have bilateral meetings with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and Uzbekistan’s Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the summit.
Ahead of his arrival in Samarkand, he provided an itinerary of the summit in a departure statement. Modi said he will discuss regional and global issues and expansion of SCO at the summit. He added that he will also exchange views on deepening multifaceted cooperation within the SCO. With Putin, Modi is expected to discuss Russian-Indian cooperation within the UN and G20. The PM will spend a day in Uzbekistan for the summit.
This will be the first in-person summit of the SCO-CoHS since the last one held in June 2019 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The past two summits in 2020 and 2021 under the chairmanships of Russia and Tajikistan were held in virtual format, respectively.
India became a full member of the SCO in 2017, and Modi has been representing the country since then.
The SCO currently comprises eight member states – China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four observer states interested in acceding to full membership – Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia, and six ‘dialogue partners’ – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
(With agency inputs)