PM Modi to Miss SCO Summit in Kazakhstan: Jaishankar to Lead Indian Delegation

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Kazakhstan. The summit is scheduled for July 3-4. Instead, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will lead the Indian delegation at the meeting. This announcement was made during a weekly press briefing in New Delhi by MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

Key Leaders Expected to Attend

The summit will see the participation of several high-profile leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is also likely to attend. The event holds significant diplomatic weight, with discussions expected to focus on regional security and economic cooperation.

India’s Representation at the Summit

Earlier speculations suggested that PM Modi might skip the SCO summit due to the ongoing first parliamentary session of the new Lok Sabha. These speculations have now been confirmed. S. Jaishankar, representing India, will engage with other member states at the summit. This marks a continued pattern of India’s involvement in the SCO, emphasizing its role in the Eurasian region.

Background on India’s Participation in the SCO

Last year, India virtually hosted the SCO Summit. During the event, Jaishankar highlighted concerns over terrorism, particularly in the presence of Pakistan’s then Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto. Russian President Putin expressed gratitude towards PM Modi for hosting the summit and endorsed the New Delhi declaration, which focused on tackling terrorism, extremism, and drug trafficking.

Understanding the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was established by China in 2001. Its members include India, Russia, China, Pakistan, and four Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were granted permanent membership in 2017. The SCO is a significant transregional organization, playing a crucial role in economic and security matters across the Eurasian region.

India’s Long-standing Engagement with the SCO

India became an observer in the SCO in 2005 and has actively participated in its ministerial meetings. These meetings focus on enhancing security and economic ties among member countries. The SCO has grown into one of the largest and most influential international organizations, promoting cooperation and stability in the region.

PM Modi’s Upcoming Visit to Russia

Following the SCO summit, PM Modi is expected to visit Russia. Russian media reported that a Kremlin aide mentioned the visit earlier this week. In March, the Kremlin extended an open invitation to Modi, and a meeting with President Putin is anticipated. This visit will mark the first India-Russia annual summit in three years, an important dialogue platform in the strategic partnership between the two nations.

Significance of Modi’s Visit to Russia

If PM Modi travels to Russia, it will be his first visit to the country in five years. The annual summit between the Indian Prime Minister and the Russian President is a key institutional mechanism for dialogue. This meeting is expected to further strengthen the strategic partnership between India and Russia, focusing on various bilateral and regional issues.

With Jaishankar leading the Indian delegation at the SCO summit and PM Modi’s potential visit to Russia, India continues to play a crucial role in regional diplomacy and international relations.

(With inputs from agencies)

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