Connectivity with neighbourhood and in SCO region India's priority: PM Modi

Membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will strengthen India’s relations with Central Asia

Membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will strengthen India’s relations with Central Asia

Participants at the summit will discuss about issues including information security, combating cross-border crime and the formation of permanent bodies to ensure law enforcement and security, he said.

At the meeting, the Chinese side also agreed to import high-quality agricultural products from India and said they will also allow Indian pharmaceutical products Chinese market.

Regional security issues will also feature, because terrorism is the most severe security challenge facing the SCO, according to Liao Jinrong, head of the Chinese ministry of public security's worldwide cooperation department. PM Modi is scheduled to hold a bilateral summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping apart from holding meetings with various other participating leaders.

"Met this year's Shanghai Cooperation Organisation host, President Xi Jinping this evening", Modi tweeted. "The first meeting of this mechanism will be held this year", he said.

India has been strongly pushing for connectivity projects like the Chabahar port project and International North-South Transport Corridor to gain access to resource-rich central Asian countries.

About Saturday's meeting, he said, "It was a substantive meeting and both leaders began by making a very positive assessment of the Wuhan summit". India, along with Pakistan, became full-time members at the summit in Kazakhstan in June 2017.

Sharing some aspects of the almost 50-minute meeting, the foreign secretary said Xi described the Wuhan summit as a "new starting point" in bilateral relations between the two countries while Prime Minister called it as a "milestone" in ties which will help in developing mutual understanding and trust.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi will head a new mechanism to oversee people-to-people contacts, and will soon meet to discuss details. Agreeing that Pakistan-China relations are a pillar of stability, the two presidents reiterated their resolve to maintain close engagement on all issues of regional and global importance.

Apart from this, the two sides formally agreed to undertake a joint project in Afghanistan, pertaining to "capacity building".

The two leaders agreed to maintain strategic communications and meet on the sidelines of worldwide meetings.

President Xi Jinping today suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two countries set up a new bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2020 as Beijing is looking at importing non-Basmati rice as well as sugar to address the trade deficit.

The summit in this Chinese port city is taking place under the shadow of Washington's pull out from the Iran nuclear deal, its sanction regime against Russian Federation and frictions with China over the trade tariff dispute and diplomats said all these issues may figure at the summit as well as during deliberations on its sidelines.

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