PM Nawaz speaks at SCO Summit Astana

With Chinese President Xi Jinping listening in, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that connectivity projects in the region should respect "territorial integrity and sovereignty", and it is essential to maintain "inclusivity and sustainability".

"Will have to make coordinated efforts to counter the menace of terrorism", PM Modi said at the meet. We want connectivity to enhance the cooperation between our young generation and societies.

Modi thanked all the members of the SCO for supporting India and granting it the membership of the group after 12 years of observership.

It is the first between the two leaders after India boycotted the high profile Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in May in which 29 world leaders took part.

Xi, who is also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, on the other hand, is expected to effectively use the SCO to sell its One Belt One Road (OBOR) idea to India and thereby sideline its opposition to China's infrastructure building in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

"Russia believes there are now all prerequisites to approve [Iran's] membership bid", Ushakov said on Friday, adding Tehran may become an SCO member during the upcoming summits.


Leaders of all member countries including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were present at the SCO Summit. "India is grateful to your leadership and support for entry into the SCO".

The SCO is comprised of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as full members.

India and Pakistan are set to join the Eurasian bloc today.

The meeting between the two leaders is seen as an effort to mend the growing fissures between the countries over various issues, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

On Thursday evening, Modi exchanged pleasantries with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at a reception amid escalating Indo-Pak tensions over a range of issues. "In fact, if handled well, (it) can even become opportunity", he said, indicating India's softening stand and efforts to bring down the temperature in its relationship with China.

-Becoming a full member of the SCO will help India establish better trade and economic ties with member countries. He further said that Islamabad is not unfamiliar with the working of the SCO but, it has a lot to learn.


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