Beijing: Narendra Modi on Saturday met Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the SCO Summit here and the two leaders discussed a range of topics to further strengthen the bilateral ties.
Modi arrived in the picturesque coastal city of China’s Shandong province in the afternoon on a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Shavkat Mirziyoyev President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the sidelines of SCO Summit,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
“The two leaders exchanged views on a range of topics to further strengthen our strategic partnership,” he said.
It is for the first time that an Indian prime minister is attending the SCO summit after India along with Pakistan became a full-fledged member of the grouping, jointly dominated by China and Russia, which has been increasingly seen as a counter to NATO.
The SCO currently has eight member countries which represents around 42 per cent of the world’s population and 20 per cent of the global GDP. Modi is expected to hold nearly half a dozen bilateral meetings with leaders of other SCO countries.
The SCO leaders are also expected to review the situation in the Korean peninsula, Afghanistan and Syria. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan became its members last year.