New Delhi: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) virtual summit will take place on Tuesday starting 2.30 pm (IST) and is expected to last two and a half hours. The summit will see the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan and leaders of four central Asian countries.
The four central Asian members of the SCO are--Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Russia is hosting the chair of the grouping for this year.
Minister of External Affairs Spokesperson (MEA) Anurag Shrivastava said, "PM will lead the Indian delegation to the 20th summit of SCO Council of heads of state which will be held in the virtual format on 10th of November. The meeting will be chaired by President Putin of the Russian Federation".
This is the third meeting in which India will be participating as full members. New Delhi was granted the observer status of SCO in 2005 and in June 2017 it became a full member.
Both Pakistan and China have confirmed participation. This will be the first time PM Modi and Chinese President Xi will be sharing platform virtually after the Galwan incident.
The Galwan Valley incident saw the death of 20 Indian soldiers due to Chinese aggressiveness at the line of actual control in eastern Ladakh. China also suffered casualties but never came out with figures. 2020 saw ties between the 2 neighbouring countries deteriorating as Chinese troops massed at the LAC.
All in All, PM Modi and President Xi will be together 3 times this month, first at SCO heads of state virtual summit, BRICS virtual summit on 17th November and then the G20 virtual summit on November 21-22.
Interestingly, Indian and Pakistani PMs will also be on the same virtual platform. Last time they PM Modi and Imran khan were under the same roof were at the UNGA dinner and lunch in 2019 in New York. Given the tensions in ties post-Pulwama terror attack, no meeting took place.