Modi meets Xi, Chinese Pres accepts PM’s invite for informal summit
Kyrgyzstan, June 13: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the multilateral SCO summit in Bishkek.
During the meeting, PM Modi reportedly conveyed to China that Pakistan is yet to take "concrete action" on India's concerns and create an atmosphere free of terrorism, which is necessary to facilitate any possible engagement between the two sides
PM Modi is in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to attend the meeting of Council of Heads of State (CHS) of SCO from June 13 to 14. India would also hold a meeting with host nation Kyrgyzstan on June 14.
"PM Narendra Modi had a warm meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Leaders discussed all aspects of enriching bilateral relations and recognised the positive role of strategic communication in deepening the partnership," spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the Prime Minister invited President Xi to an informal summit in India
"Prime Minister specifically conveyed to President Jinping and he agreed that both sides need to raise our expectations from the relationship. Prime Minister welcomed him to India for next informal summit, President Xi Jinping confirmed his readiness to visit India this year," he said.
"Prime Minister noted what had improved between two sides is strategic communication& in that context,we have been able to resolve long pending issues like opening of Bank of China branch in India and issue related to listing of Masood Azhar...There was a brief discussion on Pakistan. PM recalled that he has made efforts and these efforts have been derailed, that Pak needs to create atmosphere free of terror and at this stage we do not see this happening. We expect it to take concrete action," he added.
Modi's remarks made it clear there is little possibility of an immediate breakthrough in improving relations between the two sides, which nosedived after the suicide attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed at Pulwama in Kashmir on February 14.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was at Bishkek for the summit. Reports from Bishkek said Modi and Khan didn't shake hands or exchange pleasantries at a dinner hosted by the Kyrgyz president and at a concert. At both events, the two leaders were seated a few seats apart.
This was the first time two leaders came face to face after months of tensions between the two countries, which began with February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy in which at least 40 jawans were killed. The responsibility for the attack was claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit -- Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
On February 26, India launched an air strike on terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot, in response to the barbaric terror attack in Pulwama.
The next day, Pakistan Air Force planes had to attack Indian military installations in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to a dogfight. A MiG 21 aircraft flown by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman had shot down an F16 fighter plane of Pakistan during the aerial confrontation.
However, there would be no talks between Modi and Khan. This comes despite the Pakistan Prime Minister writing a letter to his Indian counterpart, Modi, saying Islamabad wants dialogue with New Delhi to resolve all outstanding issues between the two countries.
Moreover, India recently announced that Modi will not take the Pakistani air space for flying to the SCO summit in Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan and instead will fly by the circuitous route through Oman and Iran.
In 2017, India and Pakistan became full members of the SCO.
Founded in 2001, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ujbekistan are the founding members of the organisation.