Prime Minister Modi takes a dig at Pakistan and China during SCO summit — ‘attempts are being made to rake up bilateral issues’

Prime Minister Modi takes a dig at Pakistan and China during SCO summit — ‘attempts are being made to rake up bilateral issues’
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering his address at the 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of StateLive webcast of summit
  • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin were present at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State meeting.
  • Modi took the opportunity to express the importance of being self-reliant, but also respecting each other’s ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ as the organisation continues to grow.
  • Without taking names, he also asserted that attempts are being made to bring up bilateral issues on a platform like the SCO summit, which goes against the consensus and the charter of the institution.
Today’s Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit is the first time India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come face-to-face with the Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping since tensions broke out between the two countries.

In addition to Xi and Modi, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and Russian President Vladimir Putin are also present at the event.

“This SCO Summit was unusual. First virtual conference, and it met first time with two of its major member-states locked in a serious and prolonged border conflict," Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, a distinguished fellow with think-tank Gateway House told Business Insider.

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Modi took the opportunity to express the importance of being self-reliant, but also respecting each other’s ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ as the organisation continues to grow.

“India believes that to enhance connectivity it is important that we move forward while respecting one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

Without taking names, he also asserted that attempts are being made to bring up bilateral issues on a platform like the SCO Council of Heads of State meeting, which goes against the consensus and the charter of the institution.

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“It is unfortunate that repeated attempts are being made to unnecessarily bring bilateral issues into the SCO agenda, which violate the SCO Charter and Shanghai Spirit. Such efforts are contrary to the spirit of consensus and cooperation that defines SCO,” said Modi.

According to Bhatia, Modi pulled the right buttons in his statement by not concealing Delhi's unhappiness over bilateral issues being dragged in. "His stress on respect for ‘territorial integrity' was a dig on China. Moscow Declaration will be substantial, but SCO cannot go very far, without Sino-Indian reconciliation,” he said.

This is the first time that the annual SCO heads of state meeting is being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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