Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Uzbekistan to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on Thursday night, where he will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Here’s everything you need to know about PM Modi’s SCO summit participation.

This is the first time an in-person SCO summit is taking place since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The last in-person SCO summit was organised in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek in June 2019.

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A bilateral meeting will be held between PM Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday. The event will also see the Indian Prime Minister coming face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he has not met face-to-face since 2019. However, while a meeting between them could be on the cards, the Indian authorities are yet to confirm it.

The SCO was launched in June 2001 in Shanghai, China, and has eight full members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. The 2022 edition of the summit is also being attended by new Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.

The bilateral meeting between PM Modi and Russian President Putin will see them discuss several issues, including strategic stability, the current situation in the Asia Pacific, and bilateral cooperation at the UN and G20, according to the Kremlin.

Apart from holding a bilateral meeting with Putin, PM Modi will also be holding talks with Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of Uzbekistan and Ebrahim Raisi, the President of Iran.

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Before leaving to participate in the summit, PM Modi revealed that he was looking forward to discussing “topical, regional and international issues” with the world leaders present there. He also recalled the visit of Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to India in 2018.

The 2022 edition of the SCO summit will have two sessions, one of which will be restricted, meaning only members will be allowed to sit in. The other session is expected to see the participation of special invitees by the chair country along with other observers.