China will support India for presidency next year, Xi Jinping said on Friday soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an expanded session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Uzbekistan. Congratulating New Delhi for hosting the summit next year, the Chinese president said: “We will support India for its presidency next year.” Russian president Vladimir Putin – who is set to hold a bilateral meeting with PM Modi later in the day – also conveyed a congratulatory message to India for assuming the presidency.
In his address, Xi stressed that world leaders should “work together to promote the development of the international order in a more just and rational directions”. He also told the summit that members should “abandon zero-sum games and bloc politics,” as well as “uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core.”
This is the first time that the two world leaders – Xi Jinping and PM Modi – have come face-to-face after the countries got locked in stand-off following skirmishes at the border shared by the two nations in 2020. Several rounds of high-level discussions have happened since then and New Delhi and Beijing completed disengagement at a key point in Ladakh a couple of days ago. It is not yet confirmed if the two leaders will hold a bilateral meeting at the crucial summit.
“We will keep you fully apprised when the PM’s schedule of bilateral meetings unfolds,” foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra had said when asked about the meeting Among other issues, India and SCO member states are expected to discuss energy security at the summit, which coincides with a sharp rise in Indian imports of Russian oil, coal and fertiliser, news agency Reuters reported.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit — made up of China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the ex-Soviet Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organisation to rival Western institutions.
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP, ANI)
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