NEW DELHI(PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday left for Tashkent where he will attend the SCO Summit and meet some world leaders like the Chinese President with whom the NSG issue will figure prominently in the talks.
In the two-day summit, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will kick off the process of India’s accession to the grouping as a full-fledged member along with Pakistan.
Prior to his departure, the Prime Minister said India looks forward to fruitful outcome from its engagement at the SCO Summit.
“India is glad to be a member of the SCO & looks forward to fruitful outcomes particularly in the field of economic cooperation through SCO,” he had said.
“A short visit to the heart of Asia. PM @narendramodi departs for Uzbekistan to attend the SCO Summit,” tweeted External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
Modi had said that India attaches great importance to ties with Central Asia and always seeks to expand economic and people-to-people ties with the region.
The Prime Minister will also have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping today on the sidelines of the Summit during which he is expected to seek China’s support for India’s bid for NSG membership, which Beijing is opposed to.
Coinciding with the SCO Summit, the two-day annual plenary of the NSG begins today in Seoul during which India’s application for membership of the atomic trading club is set to be deliberated upon.
India’s entry into SCO as a full member will provide it an opportunity to have extended cooperation with member countries in areas of defence, security and counter-terrorism.
Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Sujata Mehta had yesterday said, “The process of India’s accession to the SCO will start with a signature on the base document which is called the Memorandum of Obligations.” Asked whether India will become a full member of the SCO, she said there was a schedule laid down for India to sign more than 30 other documents and it will happen as the year goes by.