SCO Summit 2022 To Begin Today. Modi, Xi, Putin Among Top Leaders To Attend Meeting


The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will hold its first in-person summit after the Covid-19 pandemic in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand from today. The two-day summit will provide the opportunity to all its eight heads of state to hold meetings and bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit on pressing global and regional issues of common concern.

The last in-person summit was held in Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek in the year 2019. After that in 2020, the Moscow summit was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic while the 2021 summit at Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe was held in hybrid mode.

Launched in Shanghai in June 2001, the SCO has eight full members, including its six founding members, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017.

SCO observer states include Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia, while dialogue partners include Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkey, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Xi Jinping Flies Out Of China For First Time After Pandemic

This year’s SCO meet is also in highlight as the Chinese president Xi Jinping will attend the meeting in-person. Xi has not left China after January 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic started, therefore the sudden announcement of his participation shedding his Covid concerns has created a buzz.

On Wednesday, Xi for the first time in over two years flew out of China. He traveled to Kazakhstan on his first state-visit since January 2020 from there he would travel to neighboring Uzbekistan to take part in the Samarkand summit.

China kept his program under wraps and declined to confirm reports of Xi’s meetings with Putin and Modi on the sideline. Although the pullback of Chinese troops from Petrol Point 15 at Gogra and Hot Spring along the eastern Ladakh border has given rise to speculations about a Modi-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the summit.

Inclusion Of Iran

The Samarkand summit will also mark the second recent expansion of the organization as Iran will be formally included into the influential Central Asian grouping after India and Pakistan became its members in 2017. After the formalities, Iran will attend the next summit to be held in India .

According to SCO officials Belarus, a close ally of Russia, has applied for full membership and is expected to join the grouping soon.

Besides the eight SCO leaders, heads of the state of Iran, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia, the two countries which are locked in military conflict, are due to be present at the Samarkand summit making it a huge conclave, officials said.


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