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Xi, Modi Hold Bilateral Talks in China, Agree to Improve Ties

Xi, Modi Hold Bilateral Talks in China, Agree to Improve Ties

Briefing the media after the two leaders held talks for almost an hour on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the meeting was "positive and forward looking and underpinned the spirit of the Wuhan summit". He was in the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27 and 28 to attend an informal summit with President Xi Jinping. India, along with Pakistan had become a full-time member during Astana summit in June 2017. Before leaving for China, the prime minister said he was "excited to lead the Indian delegation for our first-ever meeting as a full member".

To boost economic and commercial linkages, the two countries are looking at sugar and non-basmati rice exports by India to China, Gokhale said.

Mr. Xi accepted Mr. Modi's invitation for another "informal summit" in India next year and described Wuhan as a "new starting point" in India-China relations.

Though not officially on the agenda, analysts say that one key topic of discussion this year may focus on whether Iran will be allowed to ascend from its position as an SCO observer to become a full member state - a development it has sought since 2008 but has been unable to achieve while subject to United Nations sanctions.

Participants at the summit will discuss about issues including information security, combating cross-border crime and the formation of permanent bodies to ensure law enforcement and security, he said.

Modi and Xi are likely to take stock of progress in the implementation of the decisions they had taken at the Wuhan informal summit, official sources said.

Modi and Xi are expected to explore ways to deepen ties in areas of trade and investment besides reviewing the overall bilateral cooperation.

England Squad On Another Level - Burnley Star Nick Pope
We've got to enjoy the occasion and we can't wait to get out there and get started". Nothing is going to change. "We have just got to do the business on the pitch now".

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

At a time of mixed messaging from US President Donald Trump, how important is the SCO?

India has been strongly pushing for connectivity projects like the Chabahar port project and International North-South Transport Corridor to gain access to resource-rich Central Asian countries. The sanctions have impacted Russia's defence cooperation with a number of countries including India.

The president also plans to hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, and a tripartite meeting with the presidents of China and Mongolia.

However, there is no official word on whether there will be any interaction between Modi and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain, who is scheduled to attend the meeting in China.

Besides China and Russian Federation, the other countries are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - as well as the newest members India and Pakistan.


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