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Tuesday May 28, 2024

India to hold virtual SCO meeting on July 4

By Farooq Aqdas
May 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: India has announced to hold the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit via video conference on July 4. Announcing the decision on Tuesday, the Indian foreign ministry said the 22nd SCO meeting will be held virtually, and it would be presided over by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Singh Modi.

The move to hold the SCO meeting virtually is unexpected and the Indian government has not cited any reason for it, which is leading to speculations and conflicting opinions. Quoting sources privy to the development, the Indian media commented that the decision was made on Monday and had nothing to do with the engagements of the leadership of SCO member countries. They said the leadership of China and Russia have to attend the G20 meeting in September. Had the leaders of member countries been invited in person, it would be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s first visit to India after the breakout of the Russia-Ukraine war.

In addition, there were also prospects of meeting Pakistan and China’s leadership with the Indian leadership. Experts in Pakistan are of the view that India made the decision to go virtually to prevent Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif from visiting India.